We have constructed many nurseries and explored a wide variety of techniques over the last decade, and have learned what works well for our island, and through which methods we can receive the maximum level of benefits with the lowest amount of material or labor costs. Then, in 2010, Thailand and the rest of the South China Sea experienced one of the worst coral bleaching events in the last decade. After this event, the Thai Government, along with local Universities met to discuss ways in which we could alleviate damages and protect our reefs in subsequent events.
Representatives from New Heaven RCP attended several conferences and meetings in Bangkok, and pushed forward a plan to make local stakeholders more responsible for taking a proactive approach to reducing threats to reef health. Coral nurseries were identified at that meeting as one of the most accessible and efficient means of increasing reef resilience and helping corals rebound from bleaching.
Next, we worked with the Save Koh Tao Group, the Thai Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, and the Prince of Songkla University to start and Adopt-A-Reef Program here on the island. Other than New Heaven, 5 dive schools signed up to the program, and we worked together to increase the size and scope of coral nurseries around the island. In fact, in 2010 the DMCR and PSU donated 48 coral nursery tables for our island dive schools to use and look after. Currently we look after the tables in Chalok Ban Kao and Ao Leuk, which is also where we have our own coral nurseries and growing artificial reef sites.