Help Protect A Reef in the South Pacific

By May 14, 2012 Ocean Solutions
Oceans Watch Boat at Work with the Tuo' Community

It’s not everyday you get a chance to have a direct impact in protecting coral reefs habitats in the South Pacific. I mean really, we all talk about protect the ocean, but when do we ever get the chance to actually get involved in the process…well, you now have the chance!

An organization called Oceans Watch is about to help communities across the Solomon Islands to implement a system of Marine Protected Areas to help in the recovery of fish stocks on the reefs.

Oceans Watch Boat at Work with the Tuo' CommunityOceans Watch is a charitable, non-profit organization that I have profiled on Speak Up For Blue in the past (link to interview) because of the unique ability to work with remote island communities in the South Pacific by borrowing yachts with scientists, engineers, and other professionals to support island communities in restoring fishery stocks and improve water quality.

Here is a testament to their work:

Last year, Oceans Watch was contacted by a community in Solomon Islands to help them with their depleting fishery stocks. The community is so remote that the people depend on fish as their sole protein source and rely on agriculture as their carbohydrate source. So the ability to establish a sustainable fishery is key to the villages survival.

Oceans Watch sailed to the community and worked with them to offer some advice, which resulted in the implementation of a Marine Protected Area for the village. The village rallied around the MPA and maintained a monitoring and enforcement program to ensure the MPA’s success. The MPA was so successful that the village noticed an increase in the amount of fish within the first year.

Other villages heard about the project and contacted Oceans Watch to work toward establishing a system of MPAs for most of the Solomon Islands, which will be fully supported by the government and communities.

What I like about this project is that the communities recognized they had a problem, asked for helped from experts, found a solution, and put the solution into action to start this June!

There is only one snag…in order to implement this program, Oceans Watch needs to your help to raise funds and recruit volunteers to help the Solomon Islands Community and Government to implement the system of MPAs.

By donating, you have a chance to have a direct impact on protecting the a coral reef in the South Pacific…the most diverse habitat in the world AND you will help a community live through a more sustainable practice.

Normally, the cost of a system of Marine Protected Areas like this would cost millions of dollars, but this project will only cost $300,000 over the next 5 years. That’s $60,000 per year. So if 600 people donate $100, then Oceans Watch will have reached their goal for the first year.





I decided to help Oceans Watch promote this project because I truly believe in helping the Ocean and a small island community AND I know that the Speak Up For Blue Audience wants to help projects like this because you keep telling me: “Andrew how can I help save the Oceans?” Well this is how you help the Oceans.

So click on the link below to the page where I give you more information on the project like an interview with Chris Bone, CEO of Oceans Watch and an interview with Lawrence Nadua, a Solomon Islands government official. I also breakdown just some of the costs of the project for you so that you can help support a particular portion of the project, like snorkelling gear for the Reef Guardian Team, which help monitor and enforce the MPAs, or buoys, which will help mark the boundaries of the reef.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime that you do not want to miss out on. This is why you want to become an Ocean Leader, to help launch projects like these.

So act now to donate your hard earned money and/or volunteer your valuable time to help Oceans Watch, along with the Solomon Islands communities and government, to implement a system of MPAs!!!

Click Here to Save a Reef

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Jess Reese says:

    This is a brilliant idea. I will be donating, for sure. I wonder if Haiti might be a place to institute this same model? I am interested in doing coral reef conservation and community engagement in Haiti. Can you email me and we could talk about possibilities?

  • Andrew Lewin says:

    Thanks Jess…I would be interested in doing something for Haiti, but it would have to be with an organization that I know and trust such as Oceans Watch. I just hope that we can raise the money necessary to complete this reef protection project with Oceans Watch.

  • Jennifer Ellsworth says:

    Your efforts are to be commended. Thank You.

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