Artificial Reef Project

The goal

To turn a derelict ship of interesting historical significance into a marine habitat for hundreds of species, in turn reducing the pressures that humans are placing on natural reefs, stimulating dive tourism for the economic benefit of the BVI and perhaps most importantly, embracing opportunities to amplify messages about ocean conservation.

About the project

Marine habitats have been dramatically affected by fishing, coastal development improper anchoring, hurricanes and rising ocean temperatures. As a result, lots of marine populations are in decline and coral reefs are increasingly under threat. A new artificial reef would provide food, shelter, protection and spawning areas for hundreds of species.  It also provides a wonderful canvas that stimulates coral growth and restoration in locations where coral would not usually be able to grow.

We’re working in partnership with two not-for-profit organizations, Beneath the Waves and the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) along with generous and highly involved donor partners, The Maverick 1,000 Group.  Together we have identified a derelict ship in Road Harbour, Tortola. It transpires that the ship has historical significance – it was one of five to survive the bombing of Pearl Harbour. The plan is to clean it, removing any harmful oils and toxins, before intentionally sinking it. Over the years, we’ll have the opportunity to witness the evolutionary magic of watching the artificial reef evolve into a natural reef.

We plan to get students out of the classroom and into the ocean to dive on this wreck as we believe experiential education will help to inspire our next generation of ocean conservationists!

This project is a collaborative effort of artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, scientists, philanthropists, and friends from around the world. It’s epic in vision!

Find out more about the project here.