Can we build the world’s first Biorock garden powered by blue renewables?

That feeling when dreams are so close to reality?! Well, we are so close and YOUR vote can take us there!

We have been working hard planning and applying for funding from the European Outdoor Conservation Association for our latest and potentially most creative coral restoration project the Gili Islands has seen. We’re so proud to announce that we’ve been shortlisted in the global TOP 5 for WATER conservation to win EUR30,000 to fund this innovative new dive site!

The finalists depend on a public vote, and that’s where YOU come in! We’re excited to construct a brand new dive site, restore the reef at Halik and boost Gili’s tourism and economy ready for your return to paradise. Please help us get there with your vote! Want to know more about it?

Check the link and make your vote HERE.

How is this Biorock artificial coral reef different to the others?

The goal is to pioneer and install a massive underwater art sculpture similar to a shipwreck creating a unique, selfie-friendly interactive art gallery that divers can swim around and through. Like our other Biorock projects, they can be easily visited through snorkelling and discover scuba adventures. The underwater art garden will be at 6meters deep and built from glass bottles rescued from the island dump highlighting Gili’s ‘party island’ lifestyle whilst addressing the issue with the waste that this leaves behind. The shallow water gallery will be connected to electrified rebar that forms multiple Biorock pods on the unstable slope at depth down to 18meters. A metal mesh will help secure the rubble slope making it more stable, bringing new corals and marine life to a previously dead slope.

The whole structure and installation will be powered by an innovative ocean-current harnessing technology with turbines anchored to the ocean floor and directly powering the Biorock to restore this new dive site with growing corals indefinitely. 

This eco-dive experience will bring divers, snorkelers and increased economy to the island, right when we desperately need it! The photo-ready design of the underwater gallery will be boosted by social media and will help add the Gili Islands to the list of instagrammable spots around Bali! (we all know how many travel for the gram!)

More advanced divers can learn coral propagation techniques to help attach corals to the deeper structure to engage the dive community to help us fight against the global disappearance of coral reefs.

Why do we need to restore Halik Reef?

It’s been a tough decade for one of Gilis most magnificent dive sites, Halik. As the erosion on the reef shelf worsens the dominant substrate is rocky coral rubble. Rubble is one of the hardest surfaces for corals to recolonize because it is so unstable. We can see that there is still potential to redevelop this site as baby corals rapidly settle and start to grow, but on the volatile rubble surface, their own weight causes them to topple and die. 

After extensive surveys of the ‘shalik reef’ (the ‘dead zone’ between Shark Point & Halik) we know that this is a site that is desperately needing the assistance of artificial rehabilitation due to the lack of natural colonization 10 years. 

In the past, it’s always been too far from shore for the Biorock technology to be deemed feasible to create a restoration site here. Right up until we created a partnership with UK renewable tech start-up Dynorotor

Dynorotor have created an energy turbine that can harness the energy created by Gilis infamous ocean currents. The turbines can move in both directions enabling it to work with both rising and falling tides.

Why Biorock?

We’ve already seen Biorock’s success to rebuild the reefs just south of the harbour, and witnessed the rapid recovery of the Biorock corals after the mass coral bleaching event in 2016. This climate-adaption technology is paving the way we see reef rehabilitation, and adding renewable energy turbines to coral restoration will be a world-first.

For many years it has been our goal to move from powering Biorocks from the main grid (predominantly fossil fuels in Indonesia) towards a cleaner, renewable source of energy. So utilising our famously strong ocean currents is just perfect!

Other forms of coral restoration use light materials such as cheap metal and plastic tubing. Biorocks have the additional advantage of being a ‘living’ rock calcifying all the time making it stronger, heavier and sturdier to withstand these strong currents blowing them away and causing more damage to neighbouring reefs.

Remember our friend Von Wong?

Viral photographer and environmental activist, Benjamin Von Wong visited us back in 2019, cleaned the beaches, explored the Biorocks, learnt to free dive and fell in love with the Gilis. We’ve stayed in touch and are thrilled to be a part of another equally ambiguous installation. This time, it’ll be his first-ever permanent structure sunk underwater to continue to grow and thrive and our perfect chance to create an interactive dive site to boost tourism on Gilis again. Check out his latest viral installation here.

How will this help?

The power of word of mouth and social media will help gain so much momentum in a time where we can’t wait to get visitors back to the Gilis. We believe that this project, thanks in part to its audacity could potentially inspire an entire generation of artists to rethink the role of art in community and conservation.

Ok sounds awesome! What can I do?

Please help us become the world’s first underwater art exhibition where art, technology and conservation can elevate our community, economy and environment! To be able to fund this project we are hoping to win EUR 30,000 from EOCA Conservation and to win that, we need YOU. 

Please take 2 minutes to create a new coral reef on the Gilis vote here

The poll is open from 15th October to 29th October, leaving us with 2 weeks to ask for your vote, to share with your friends, families and every lover of the Gilis and ocean conservation.


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