Gator Halpern, winner of the Young Champion of the Earth award 2018 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and his team at Coral Vita are off to a flying start in 2019.
They are building the world's first commercial, land-based coral farm, to restore our planet's dying coral reefs. The world has already lost half of all coral reefs, making Halpern's mission more urgent than ever.
Combining techniques in science and research with tremendous developments in the private sector, the Coral Vita team is stepping up in 2019.
"Last month was crazy, with the team attending a range of conferences and events. Coral Vita won the Ocean Exchange pitch competition, and we were part of a team that won the XPrize Visioneering competition--there will now be an XPrize on reef restoration," said Halpern.
He also attended a fellowship convening in San Francisco for the JM Kaplan Innovation Prize and the Echoing Green fellowship, and went to the Our Ocean Conference--a political ocean summit in Bali.
While in Indonesia, Halpern took the opportunity to connect with potential partners and investors, while also surveying some of the healthiest reefs in the world.
"While all the events were ongoing, things moved along in Bahamas, where we are building our coral farm. We received our final building permits, moved ahead on contracting work to build the farm, and permits needed to complete our aquaculture work.
"One of the challenges we face going forward is balancing internal needs to move ahead on things like construction and farming, while also making time to progress in our business development.
"Making external connections is really essential for our business, but can be time consuming, and striking a balance between this and other internal needs will be important for us in 2019."
In early 2019, building at the site in the Grand Bahama continues, with electrical installation, plumbing and aquaculture tanks all falling into place.
"Why not check out our website and adopt a coral this year? We're really excited about 2019, and hope you'll stay tuned to join us for the ride!"
Want to make a difference? We encourage everyone who wants to make a difference for our planet to apply to be a Young Champion of the Earth. Stay tuned - applications open soon. The Young Champions of the Earth Prize is powered by Covestro.