FREEPORT, BAHAMAS – Late last year Government officials, private stakeholders and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) attended the groundbreaking of the world’s first ever coral farm, in Grand Bahama.
The Coral Vita Project, which is a collaborative endeavour between Coral Vita, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, and the Grand Bahama Development Company (DEVCO) was founded by Gator Halpern and Sam Teicher, Environmental Managers who were inspired to create a company to restore the world’s dying reefs.
Deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable Peter Turnquest officially broke ground for the land base offices, noted at the time, “I am very pleased to be here to join in this very momentous occasion and the tremendous opportunities this investment can bring to our island and to our country. The importance of these coral reefs to the protection of our coastlines in itself is reason for concern to the sustainability of our environment.”
DPM Turnquest was also quick to note that the Farm “is in line with the Government’s objective, with respect to economic development, diversifying our economy, to take advantage of the blue economy.”
The Coral Vita process of micro fragmentation can grow coral 50 times faster than it grows in its natural environment. What would normally take a lifetime to grow in the ocean, will now take six to 12 months to grow on Coral Vita’s soon to be coral farm, here on Grand Bahama.
President Greg Laroda along with Board of Directors of The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce announced that it’s guest speakers for its monthly luncheon will be the Coral Vita team.
“Coral Vita is building the world’s first commercial land-based coral farm right here in Freeport,” said Gator Halpern, Co-Founder and President. The farm will function to provide corals for the restoration of reefs along the southern shore of Grand Bahama, which have suffered greatly in the past decades. This project will help boost the offshore ecosystem, providing value for tourism, fisheries production, and coastal protection. Their facility is currently under construction along the Grand Lucayan Waterway, and when completed, it will be a new eco-tourism attraction and education centre in addition to a functional coral farm.”
Many visitors choose to come to Grand Bahama Island because of its crystal-clear waters, magnificent marine life, and beaches. “Having the opportunity to replenish what we have lost over the years will not only have a greater positive impact on our visitor experience, but also other marine businesses that rely on the health of our coral reefs”, says President Laroda. “We are looking forward to learning more about Coral Vita and the overall impact that it will have on our economy in Freeport, Grand Bahama”.
Joining Gator Halpern at the Chamber’s luncheon meeting will be Sam Teicher, Co-Founder of Coral Vita. President Laroda encourages the Grand Bahama Business Community, as well as interested persons to reserve their seating for the luncheon meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, Pelican Bay Hotel.
Rupert Hayward, Executive Director at the GBPA is also a big supporter of the farm. “Grand Bahama is now a pioneer and trailblazer in the global fight against climate change. We are centre stage in solving one of the world’s most pressing and widely covered topics, presently 80 per cent of the world’s reefs are dead. With 90 per cent of the remaining reef projects projected to die by 2050, without intervention, sadly, Grand Bahama and The Bahamas will be no different.