OCEAN SHOT PROJECT
Taking Action for our Oceans
COAST TO COAST: SAVING OUR BLUE PLANET
The Ocean Shot project led by scientist Dr. Deborah Brosnan in partnership with global philanthropist and entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria is the first of its kind to take action for our oceans.
The newly-launched initiative plans to use technology that mimics the design and shape of natural reefs to provide opportunities for colonization by coral and other marine life. The constructed reef modules will also help protect nearby coastal communities from storm surge and sea-level rise.
Serving as protective barriers for coastal communities against wave action, the coral reefs enable people to set up homes and businesses closer to the ocean. Coral reefs mitigate sand flow to beaches, replenishing the sparkling white beaches that make the Caribbean a global tourist hot spot. The sand itself is thanks to coral and a very important local species that feeds on it.
Scientists on the project will test new technologies that aim to speed up coral growth which typically takes over a decade to restore a single hectare of coral. The team will also build a nearby coral nursery to grow several species that will eventually help populate the newly built reef area. Scientists say coral reefs are at a critical point as more than half of the world’s coral reefs have been lost, and the rest are at risk.
The Ocean-Shot project is starting to operate in Antigua and Barbuda and will be replicated in other Caribbean and Latin American locations. The program may also find a home in other parts of the world in the future.
The project will be established in Antigua and Barbuda, which is ideal for many reasons:
- The team’s knowledge of the biodiversity, ecosystems and culture and deep connection with
- The depth, historic reef structures, and local hydrodynamics, and amount of uniform space
available, as well as the supporting resources, are ideal to create a successful program
- The Nation of Antigua and Barbuda represents many Island nations around the world that rely
directly on coral reefs, and where critical interventions are needed. This goal is that this model
can be replicated globally in these regions
UTILIZING EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO FOSTER SUSTAINABILITY
- The Ocean-Shot “Living Lab” will be a place to test new technologies to see how quickly we can restore reefs, plant and grow viable corals, and ultimately create solutions for other island
nations to readily deploy.
- Reef Architecture Determines Reef Function. The “shape” of a reef plays a key role in
biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. Dr. Brosnan’s team are selecting designs and
shapes for the reef that will mimic the natural reefs (now dead) that occur in the area, and also
provide key services (such as storm surge and sea level rise protection).
- Coral Nursery to Seed the Reef and Restore Species. While reef architecture is critical to coral reef function and stability, it is vital that the reef be populated with viable coral species that can withstand future conditions and that the ecosystem be in balance (e.g. herbivores to maintain space for coral recruitment and growth). A coral reef nursery is currently being built to support the reef habitat restoration, several species have been proposed as initial candidates and the final location is to be determined.
- The built reef will consist of a series of reef modules crafted to provide opportunities for colonization by corals and other organisms. Working with designers to create the most appropriate structure for the habitat, the built corals will be locally constructed and maneuvered into the sea.
- Already attracting innovators in technology, as well as divers and citizen scientists, Ocean-Shot’s 2.58 acres of coral reef restoration will collectively address the most pressing sustainability problems that are impacting all coastal nations across governance, science and technology, and industry.
OTHER INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS
- PADI: Dr. Drew Richardson, President and CEO. As the leader in the dive industry, PADI’s engagement and partnership helps the wider reach of this effort and ensures that it will be
embedded in dive practices. In addition, this program will form the basis of PADI AWARE Foundation’s development of best practices guidelines for coral reef restoration and monitoring that will be the dive industries’ standard practice and approach.
- Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GoAB): Prime Minister Gaston Browne is directly
involved in this project, as is the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Samantha Marshall, Minister for Environment and Health Molwyn Joseph, and Barbuda's Senator Nedd. They
have pledged their full support and that of their agencies to advance the effort. In addition, the project links with the policy of ocean resilience and blue economy being developed, including at the University of the West Indies 5-star Campus.
- Community: Individuals and entities in Antigua and Barbuda and globally. In the development and execution of this project Ocean-Shot is engaged with individual colleagues in institutions
across the globe. Locally, they have engaged, hired, and trained local personnel - all of whom will continue as vital parts of the project.