The Ocean Trust

The Ocean Trust aim to rebuild coral reefs in the Western Indian Ocean, starting with the Lamu archipelago, Kenya where their current project is based. Using a simple but effective method, the reefs are being rebuilt by local people, who also benefit economically from the alternative livelihoods, employment and education opportunities created.

February 2024

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Over the past three decades, 50% of coral reefs worldwide have been lost due to human activity and the rapidly accelerating impacts of climate change. Scientists predict by 2043 coral will be practically extinct without intervention.

The effects of this loss are already being felt in the Lamu archipelago, Kenya, with catches of fish steadily declining. If this trend persists, it will not only result in the loss of a vital and extraordinary ecosystem on the reef, but it will also cause communities to spiral into poverty and famine.

The Ocean Trust are working and engaging with local communities in Kenya to provide education on the ocean and how it can be restored. As well as empowering the local community to revive the ocean, they are also creating alternative livelihoods, employment and education opportunities.

Using a scientifically proven and well-established method called the MARRS approach, The Ocean Trust method of coral restoration is not only simple and low-cost, but it is also scalable. They utilise locally sourced materials to construct specialised hexagonal structures known as ‘reef stars.’ These structures are coated in sand before fragmented corals are attached. They are then deployed across vast areas of dead coral rubble. The reef stars provide a robust and stable platform that enable corals to grow and marine life to repopulate the degraded area.

The results have been impressive, and the team are witnessing new coral sites grow and thrive, with marine life flourishing around them.

The ultimate goal of the organisation is to build coral restoration capacity in the Western Indian Ocean, working to rebuild and restore lost and dying reefs on a large enough scale to have a meaningful ecological, environmental, and economic impact. Funding from the John Good Group will help The Ocean Trust to scale their work.

“Thank you on behalf of The Ocean Trust and the local communities which could have the opportunity of benefiting hugely from funding, and recognising the urgent need to address the climate issue.

Climate issues have an impact on the whole world, not just the local communities in Kenya, but by addressing the issues on the reefs, we help the ecosystem globally.”

The Ocean Trust

“It was fantastic to meet the team at The Ocean Trust and hear more about how they engage the local community in restoring the coral reefs on the East Coast of Africa. Trained by Mars, who developed the reef star restoration method, they are currently undertaking coral reef restoration in the Lamu Archipelago, which includes an unprecedented 100 ha Marine Protected Area.

Despite providing food, protection and income for ~22 million people living in coastal communities and supporting over 3,000 species, the reefs of East Africa are often forgotten, and this project has the potential as a vital biodiversity refuge in the threat of climate change. The team behind the charity is committed, passionate, and motivated, and they are making a real difference in marine conservation in Kenya.”

Michelle Taft

Executive Director, Matthew Good Foundation

Latest Project Updates

February 2024

Grants for Good Finalist

The Ocean Trust has become one of the top five finalists in the latest Grants for Good round, and will receive a grant between £2000 and £5000 after employees at the John Good Group have voted on their favourite causes.