Coral Gardeners sets new records in 2022, ready to revolutionise ocean conservation and scale reef restoration around the world.
In their latest 2022 Impact Report available on their website, Coral Gardeners reflects on a year full of impact, both in and out of the ocean.
Looking back at 2022, it has been a pivotal year for Coral Gardeners. We turned a page, transitioning from my boyhood dream to one of the most ambitious journeys in ocean conservation: the Odyssey 2025. This new chapter is about scaling up our impact tenfold, in and out of the water, and providing unquestionable evidence that coral reef restoration works as a regenerative ocean solution. – Titouan Bernciot, Founder & CEO
In one single year, Coral Gardeners planted as many corals as they had previously been able to accomplish in five years — meeting the ambitious goal they set for themselves in response to the rapid decline of coral reefs. To hit this new milestone, they planted 15,225 nursery-grown corals from 20 different species, covering almost one soccer field of reef surface, reaching a total of 30,980 outplants since their founding.
The newly planted corals are already showing significant resilience with survival rates exceeding 60%, which is considered successful, bringing biodiversity and abundance back to the reef ecosystem. These results add to the 26 metrics continuously tracked by the team to lead their field efforts with science and data, applying the latest methods and technologies. In 2022, their in-house research and development center, CG Labs, made some major updates on their AI platform, ReefOS — a network of devices that collect real-time data on corals at a level of precision that would be impossible for humans to obtain to help restore reef ecosystems.
Their most noteworthy innovation of 2022 is the launch of the beta version of their iOS ReefAPP, which the gardeners will use to track all the coral data live on their phones while still underwater, significantly reducing their efforts in data intake while improving the efficiency and standardization of their monitoring. All the coral data collected from the ReefAPP along with the water parameters relayed from their smart buoys and the images captured on the surrounding marine life by their underwater cameras and soon the 3D reefscape imagery mapped by their underwater robots, are all saved and uploaded to the ReefOS Cloud, where it can be analyzed and visualized.
Along with their mission in the field, Coral Gardeners also raises awareness to inspire people to take action by pairing local education with global outreach. In 2022, they ramped up their local awareness efforts, leading twice as many hands-on workshops as they did in the previous year. Since the beginning of their project, they have educated 4,104 islanders, including 673 kids, on the importance of preserving their reefs and ocean-based livelihoods while reaching millions through social media savvy and unconventional collaborations, curating an online community of over 700K people, making it the most followed coral conservation project in the world.
The team also tapped the business world into their mission by launching a new We The Reef program for small to medium-sized businesses alongside their long-term partnerships with like-minded brands, such as Rolex and their Perpetual Planet Initiative. While contributing to changing the business landscape with a “purpose over profit” mindset, Coral Gardeners is building a collective of more than 23,000 people who have supported the project through various ways, such as coral adoption and their new sustainable clothing line of CG Essentials.
Building on this successful year, Coral Gardeners is working to replicate its framework to plant 1 million heat-resilient corals around the world, providing tangible and long-lasting impact for reef ecosystems, local communities, and the planet. In 2022, they have led field missions in other islands of French Polynesia (Tahiti, Tikehau and Ahe), as well as their first-ever international assessment trip to Fiji to assess the reef and begin the conversation that will officially come into full effect in 2023. Coral Gardeners is going global and is inviting the world to join.
Feature Image: © Teriitua Maoni.