Announcing International Year of the Reef Initiatives
This year we’re celebrating International Year of the Reef (IYOR) by offering an exciting new reef conservation program designed to encourage positive and lasting change. As a dive operator we are the eyes and ears of what's happening under the surface, therefore we hope to lead as ambassadors, taking action ourselves.
Did you know that coral reefs are one the most biologically diverse habitats on earth? They take up less than 0.1% of the ocean floor yet they are home to 25% of all marine life globally, but 60% of the world’s coral reefs may die within the next 20 years! A very worrisome forecast. The International Year of the Reef is a global effort to combat these staggering facts. The aim is to increase awareness and understanding of the values and threats to coral reefs, and to support related conservation research and management efforts - to motivate people to take action to protect them. Accordingly, Explorer Ventures is launching our own IYOR campaign based on 6 programs which celebrate, educate, and promote sustainability and action. Most importantly, we have pledged to practice the Green Fins philosophy on our Caribbean vessels, thus leading by example.
Whether you’re landlocked at home, or diving from one of our liveaboards, let’s celebrate and preserve our coral reefs together.
What can you expect from Explorer Ventures?
Throughout 2018, we hope to encourage reef conservation through these 6 endeavors:
- Green Fins Environmental Policies: This spring we have pledged to follow the Green Fins Code of Conduct onboard our Caribbean vessels; Turks & Caicos Explorer II and Caribbean Explorer II. These policies include strengthening diver awareness and integrating best practices for all guests who board our vessels. Learn more here.
- Dive with a Purpose Expeditions: In partnership with Carpe Diem Maldives, we are hosting a series of ‘Dive with a Purpose’ trips in the Maldives throughout 2018. Research focus includes Crown of Thorn Starfish Removal, and Marine Megafauna Research, with reef survey activities on all weeks. Divers who wish to participate can learn more here.
- Reef Fund Research Charter: In assistance to the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, we will host scientists for one week in August aboard the Turks and Caicos Explorer II. Scientists and specialists will conduct an extensive survey of East Caicos mapping the health and habitat of the reef and determine the best management of use for the future. Learn more here.
- Charitable Donations: The Sea Save Foundation's mission is to generate consciousness and encourage stewardship of our natural ecosystems through charitable educational activities. Explorer Ventures will continue to donate one free trip every year to this cause, helping to raise funds to contribute to this effort. Learn more here.
- Reef Awareness Social Media Series: Every Monday throughout 2018 we will post and re-share educational content on ocean and reef conservation. Our aim is to raise public awareness of IYOR and the importance of coral reef conservation. To follow along like our Facebook page, or search by hashtags #RaiseReefAwareness #DiveforChange and #IYOR2018.
- Public Education Series: We will post a quarterly blog article examining an in-depth coral reef and/or ocean conservation topic, and illustrate how the general public can make sustainable changes at home. This also includes highlighting foundations who are contributing to the management and protection of reefs. Find our blog here.
How can you get involved?
- Celebrate IYOR with Explorer Ventures by joining us aboard Caribbean Explorer II or Turks and Caicos Explorer II.
- Adopt Green Fins best practices for your dives:
- Join Explorer Ventures for a week to 'Dive with a Purpose' in the Maldives.
- Educate friends and family by sharing Explorer Ventures IYOR and conservation posts on social media.
- Influence change in your community. Join or create a local event or cleanup.
- Donate your time or funds directly to a conservation program. We suggest:
- Practice sustainable living and reduce waste at home.
- Mind your energy footprint and reduce carbon consumption
- Make sustainable food choices
- Use environmentally safe cleaning products (even if you’re not near the ocean)
- Limit or eliminate plastic use completely
- Bring your own food containers
- Do not keep fish tanks and do not exploit marine life
- Help take care of your local beach and coastline
International Year of the Reef updates and further information on events will be released as the year progresses. For more ways to get involved, follow us on Facebook. Learn more about the International Year of the Reef.
Make 2018 the year you commit to creating meaningful change!