Our story begins in the Heart
One of the marvelous things about Bocas, is that you can make a big difference with a little work. In the case of Caribbean Coral Restoration, a little work and research turned into a powerful mission and big vision.
A Year of Growth
With a strong foundation of technique established in the last few years, 2019 was a year of organization growth. We invested in a formal strategy, built a significant number of coral trees, installed several additional reef structures, and have been filling our nursery with coral clones that we have captured from thriving and recovering colonies.
We had our first community build event, established on-going volunteer events, and we’ve been working closely with government and environmental organizations to plan for our future education center and “super reef” installation.
We have also brought on additional team members to help us accomplish our goals. And we have put together some aggressive fundraising goals to help our organization grow even more in 2020.
Ayuda A La Tierra
Organization created by the founder, and after a significant amount of learning about coral restoration, Doug realizes that the organization needed to focus on developing habitats first to be successful.
A year of experimentation to find the right structure designs and the ideal material types for artificial reef designs. Thanks to a big donation we were able to get MUSA, our outplant pontoon support boat.
First Reefs Installed
Hanning reef is installed at the nursery location on Solarte and a diversity of fish begin to make the structure home. After some lessons and successes, more structures were added to accelerate positive results.
Got permission for coral collection, spent the year finding coral, building trees & preparing for the full scale nursery. Scouting the archipelago for healthy colonies, future installation sites and projects.
Our Origin Story
We all have our favorite vacation or hide-a-way places. It might be a beach or secret fishing hole, a hidden mountain meadow, or an endless prairie of tall grasses waving in the wind. Often, these “comfort” spaces are emotional grounding zones for us. We cherish our time there, visiting and reconnecting as much as possible.
Then, as we move through life’s journey, it sometimes happens that fate intervenes and we are forced to be absent for several months or even years. When we do return, it is to recapture the magic we once found there.
However, if instead of a sandy, untouched beach we find a resort or housing development or instead of a hidden mountain meadow we find the aftermath of a devastating fire, we cannot help but feel a personal loss with a deep sadness.
For me, this experience was personified by pursuing my professional life in the Mountains of Colorado and visiting the tropical islands of Bocas del Toro, Panama whenever possible. The country, the people and the sea met every criteria of my dream world.
However, with each returning trip, I witnessed a decline of the ocean’s diversity and what I had assumed was its inherent beauty. Unfortunately, the seas of my Caribbean island paradise, once teeming with a kaleidoscope of marine life was faltering and dying.
It took a couple of years to understand that it was not a temporary phenomenon and the reefs as we once knew them were not likely to recover anytime soon. But with knowledge comes power. Thus, when we learned it was a world-wide development and there were people and organizations who were dedicated to the recovery and preservation of marine ecosystems, we chose to become involved.
We realized that we were in a perfect position to take action with that knowledge. So our 20 year-old “vision” of building a home on a tropical island became a much larger project with a much bigger purpose.
Our dream home has become a community of dedicated people working and growing together to run a multi-functional coral nursery. There is an artificial-reef manufacturing facility and a marine education center.
What we have already done in the sea has created a dynamic positive energy that extends beyond the accomplishments we have achieved in the reefs and fisheries of the archipelago.
The excitement is reflected in our growth and we have only just begun.
Doug Marcy, Founder
Love for the sea begins here.
At the heart of our organization is a profound love and appreciation for the amazing world under the surface of the sea.
In witnessing the systemic imbalance where we live, our love for the sea became an organization intent on taking action.
We’re a team of indispensable volunteers, generous experts, astounding apprentices, a motivated board of directors and administration support system that continues to keep pressing our organization ever forward.