Restoring Land & Sea
Fiji is like nowhere else on earth. Lush, secluded, full of raw and natural beauty. Life there revolves around the ocean and its livelihood, a topic near and dear to the hearts of our Fijian friends. We asked our local guide, Ian Ravouvou Muller to show us around the waters with one mission in mind—revival.
The Fiji islands are surrounded by the largest reef system in the Southwest Pacific. Thousands of square miles of life-giving coral rest below the ocean’s surface and much of it is in need of restoration. Under the supervision of Ian and marine biologist, Dr. Austin Bowden-Kerby, we created a nursery of super coral (species of coral that can recover from stress, such as ocean warming) and replanted it in an area that is struggling to survive. With enough luck, the work we did here will help restore this reef to the thriving ecosystem it once was.
“If we nurture Mother Nature, she will respond.” -Ian Ravouvou Muller, Fijian Guide
Ian builds these innovative “coral pyramids” from dead coral, saltwater, and calcium carbonate. The finished structures create completely natural habitats for fish to live and more coral to grow.
After diving below the ocean’s surface we headed up on the shores of a remote sandbar way beyond the coastline. On the journey out there, Ian explained his next idea: to create a new island from coconut trees. The coconut tree, with its strong root structure and branch system, is able to hold the sand together and prevent erosion.
More than that, it provides everything a person needs to survive—shade, sustenance, and materials to make clothing. As Ian says, “the coconut tree is the tree of life, so it was the perfect choice to start creating this island from the sandbar”.
All-in-all, our time in Fiji was unforgettable. The perspectives we gained here will stay with us for the rest of our lives. We hope that if you ever travel to this incredible country, you remember to treat the land and people with kindness.