New Year, New M(ah)e: Life as a Marine Educator
by Ashley Taylor (Marine Educator in Seychelles)
Starting 2020 as a Marine Educator with WiseOceans has been the best way to begin the New Year. After making the long trip from Texas, the entire team made me feel at home, and helped me get settled into the role. My first view of Petite Anse left me speechless. Towering granitic rock blooming with lush green foliage hugging the Indian Ocean into the turquoise bay. Underwater has its own plethora of treasures: spotted eagle rays, squads of squid, bumphead parrotfish, hundreds of schooling diamond fish, and I even got to see my first baby turtle in the wild.
Working on the Reef Restoration Project has been the highlight. The damage done on the house reef from climate change is very visible, but not at all different from what I’ve witnessed happening to these fragile ecosystems worldwide. The fragments of hope that are growing in the nursery give me exactly that, hope. I really enjoy doing demos with the guests, and seeing their faces light up when they learn what coral is and why it is so important. We’ve done a nursery inventory for the annual report, transplanted healthy coral fragments to real substrate using an underwater drill, and will soon begin CORDIO surveys to monitor bleaching during the high temperatures of summer.
In an effort to reduce waste involved in the project, we’ve begun experimenting with using a natural fiber called raffia to attach the fragments to the flat bar. There are currently 14 fragments in the nursery, and after two weeks they are doing well and some are even beginning to attach!
You truly cannot beat the view from the office and the melting pot of guests and staff. With new proposals being finalized, I am very excited to see what is next.