INDONESIA, Alung Banoa Village, Bunaken Island - July 2004
Purchase, installation and transportation of EcoReef reef rehabilitation modules
While the Bunaken area is a premier dive destination, parts of the reef have been destroyed by dynamite fishing. Alung Banoa villagers and local dive operators from the North Sulawesi Watersports Association volunteered this summer to assemble and install 300 EcoReef modules to honor the memory of Stephen Erdmann. Stephen was the younger brother of Mark Erdmann, who job shares with his wife Arnaz Mehta as Seacology's Southeast Asia field representative. Stephen died tragically while traveling in Egypt in August 2003. The Erdmann family donated funds to Seacology to support this project in Stephen's memory. The modules are expected to significantly regenerate marine life in the damaged areas.
UPDATE July 2005 - The villagers have given up their traditional fishing rights in the area and are enforcing new no-fishing rules. One year later, coral transplants and reef species are thriving on the modules, including a surprise to the project team - a giant clam. The site has now become a highlight of many divers' trips to Bunaken National Park and almost all dive operators now include the site on their itinerary. The Alung Banoa villagers are happy about this development and the positive feedback they are receiving.