The Reef Ball Foundation is a 501(c3) nonprofit publicly supported charity whose mission statement charters the group to help restore ocean ecosystems. One of the most important oceanic ecosystems is tropical coral reefs. Restoration efforts using designed artificial reefs such as Reef Balls work well in subtropical and temperate systems where recovery of the animals and invertebrates that colonize reefs (fouling community) is relatively fast. However, tropical reefs are typically in clear, nutrient poor, waters and corals are slow to colonize and rejuvenate designed artificial reefs. Because funding for the restoration of coral reefs is often limited to places where there is an economic benefit to restore the reef, funding is more readily available for projects that can restore a tropical reef system in a reasonable time frame from human standards. Therefore, working with scientists, reef managers and coral propagation experts, the Reef Ball Foundation developed a system which integrates designed artificial reefs with coral propagation, rescue and transplanting programs to achieve the goal of rapid restoration of tropical coral reef systems.
NEW:Monitoring Photos from Feb. 24, 2004 (Underwater Mostly Coral Propagates)
Because coral reef systems are extremely complex and encompass a huge variety of marine life, it takes a great deal of expertise to be able to assess a potential restoration site and to determine the hundreds of variables required to restore a tropical reef system. Such expertise can only come from a wide range of scientific, managerial, regulatory, local, and practical sources. To meet that need, the Reef Ball Foundation over the last 10 years had developed a pool of worldwide talent willing to volunteer time and other resources for specific project needs. Whenever a reef restoration project presents itself to the Foundation, one email to the hundreds of potential volunteers can generate the talent pool required to tackle even the most challenging of reef restoration projects. Anyone with applicable expertise can join the team, needing only to attend the Reef Ball Foundation's basic coral propagation or rescue training (usually by participating in a project) and providing the Foundation with a C.V. with applicable talents. Volunteers for each project are chosen by invitation only based on talents, experience, availability, and specific project requirements. Volunteers are organized and managed by Foundation professionals to insure each team achieves the goals of the specific project. Project sponsors provide additional local volunteers, and pay for the expenses of the team usually in the form of a tax deductible donation to the Reef Ball Foundation designated for support of a particular project.
A Typical Expert Volunteer Team: Left to Right (Marine Biology College Professor/ American Soma, Legal Advisor and Lawyer/ Georgia, Marine Coastal Engineer/ Australia, Expert in Community Based Coral Programs/England, Executive Director of Reef Ball Foundation/Georgia, Artificial Reef Consultant/Florida, Marine Biology Consultant/ Turks and Caicos Islands, Computer Expert and experienced coral planter/Holland, Coral Propagation Team Leader/ Curocao). All have advanced scuba certifications.
Reef Ball Foundation volunteer based teams have a variety of expertise here are a few examples:
Reef Ball Foundation teams are designed to be activated in emergency situations. If a boat grounding happens, don't wait for the lawyers to sort out who must pay...by then all the coral that was damaged can't be saved. With Reef Ball Foundation volunteer teams, we can repair the damage within weeks and at a cost 10 to 100 times less than required mitigation. If a hurricane hits your community...don't watch the economic benefits of your reef go away for years....repair it quickly after the storm while the broken up coral fragments can still be saved (typically 1-6 months after a storm perhaps longer in low wave climate areas). If there are other treats to your reefs (impending dredge work, beach fills, new pollution sources, etc.) don't wait until the damage occurs, call us and proactively save your valuable reef resources and help us achieve our goals of saving our world's oceanic ecosystems.
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