Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MINI Reef for the Turtles!!!

Look at this picture... I'll explain shortly "How did we get here?"

Koh Tao is an island off the coast of Thailand whose name literally translates to "Turtle Island." The aptly named tropical paradise of white sandy beaches shaded by towering palm trees is surrounded by waters positively teeming with some of the world's most fascinating marine life. Hawksbill turtles, barracudas, sting rays, clownfish and whale sharks are just a few examples of the colorful fauna great and small that drift happily through the beautiful coral reefs that characterize Koh Tao's surrounding sapphire seascape.

Not surprisingly, the idyllic spot has become known as a hot destination for expert and amateur divers alike. But the influx of tourism to the area poses a real threat to the equilibrium of Koh Tao's delicate ecosystem, and local conservationists face the perpetual challenge of giving visitors the chance to interact with this island's thrilling array of subaquatic treasures without destroying them in the process.

The cement MINI prepares to leave dry land and begin its aquatic journey.. Enter MINI Thailand and their unique MINI Artificial Coral Reef Project. On August 26th, together with a team of about 30 professional divers, they sank a playful, MINI-themed landscape below the waves at the diver training site of Suan Olan. The project, which was carried out in cooperation with Koh Tao Marine Conservation Group and the local Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, will have the double benefit of providing a habitat for the island's wildlife while giving novice divers a place to practice without interfering with the natural reefs that lie clustered just beyond the coastline.

Just about to launch.. With the help of highly specialized equipment like crane ships and air balloons, the carefully engineered structure was built using cement, a material chosen for its suitability as a base for coral to grow securely. Experts estimate it will remain in place for about 10 years, serving as an unusual attraction for visiting divers and a message for posterity about the importance of protecting the natural beauty we too often take for granted.

Nothing but the great blue above, and many colorful years ahead.. On the following day, their hard work done, everyone who lent a hand in this innovative and special project celebrated into the night with an after party featuring live music and fire dancing. The theme was simple: "Thank You For Loving Koh Tao." Simple, but right on the mark, since in the end what MINI Thailand and all who participated on that day had proven was that when it comes to building a brighter future for sea turtles and other marine life, a little love can go a long way.

*Article taken from the MINI Source

No comments: