Education and awareness raising are, of course, the first and most important steps towards protecting our marine environment. In fact, it is mostly our activities on land, not on the sea, which are harming coral reefs all around the globe. But, changing people’s behavior and the customs of whole societies takes a long time. So, in the mean time we also dedicate much of our time on coral reef research and restoration projects and programs aimed at directly protecting and benefiting the reefs around our island.
Every day of the week we are working on land or diving with our students, Interns, and friends to address issues in the health, biodiversity, and abundance of our coral reefs. Our goal is to protect or restore the resilience of our ecosystems, while also providing detailed and accurate monitoring and research of any changes. Since starting in 2007 we have conducted over 350 reef surveys, rehabilitated thousands of corals on our nurseries, placed down hundreds of artificial reef structures, released nearly 50 sea turtles from our rehabilitation and head-starting program, and so much more.
In addition to working on our own, we also team up with other dive schools from Koh Tao through the Save Koh Tao Marine Branch for larger projects and activities such as monthly clean-ups. Through that group we also work together with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, The Marine Fisheries Department, and the Thai Navy on various activities.
For our research work, we have partnered with two Thai Universities, Mahidol University International College and The Prince of Songkla University Hat Yai. We are always evolving and adding new programs or addressing new problems as they occur.