We’re Bringing Hope to Coral Reefs with SHEBA® Hope Reef
The rapid rate of the decline of coral reefs has long been a concern for us at Mars, and restoring the coral reef ecosystem is a key part of our aim to be Sustainable in a Generation. In fact, since 2018, coral cover has increased from 5% to 55% at key restoration sites, and our SHEBA® brand is building on that momentum through its HOPE Reef restoration initiative.
The SHEBA® Hope Reef coral reef restoration plans to restore coral reefs measuring more than 185,000 square meters—roughly the size of 148 Olympic swimming pools—at key sites around the world. This is critical work, as climate change, overexploitation, destructive fishing practices and marine pollution have impacted ocean health significantly. In fact, scientists estimate if we do nothing, 90% of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone by 2043—a devastating prospect not just for the reefs’ ecosystems, but for the nearly 500 million people who depend on the reefs for food, income and coastal protection.
The SHEBA® Hope Reef uses reef stars—star-shaped steel structures handmade by the local community—to restore coral reefs. To provide a stable base for coral fragments to rapidly regrow, divers will install the coated structures to create a strong, secured web that covers the seabed where corals once grew. It takes four divers just two days to install 500 reef stars, and 20 days to rebuild one hectare of reef, but the results can be significant: over the last three years recovered reefs have increased the abundance of fish and biomass. Other species in the coral reef food web, such as sharks and turtles are also returning.
Those wanting to join the movement to restore reefs at a large, ecologically relevant scale don’t need a diving certificate to participate: SHEBA® is creating a YouTube channel where every view leads to money being invested back into coral reef restoration, giving everyone the opportunity to help grow hope and ensure the future has fish.
And when it comes to the reef, hope isn’t just an aspirational term, it’s a visible one. The start of the world’s largest restored coral reefs, located off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia in the Spermonde Archipelago, is built to spell out the word HOPE from the seabed using restored coral.
Advertising proceeds generated by SHEBA®’s Channel That Grows Coral on YouTube will be invested into coral reef regeneration through campaign partner, The Nature Conservancy. This is the first time ever that 100% of the funds from a YouTube channel have been monetized for sustainability efforts. Our SHEBA® brand is also partnering with National Geographic to continue driving the message that hope is not lost – if we all act now.
Together, we are restoring coral reefs today for a healthier ocean tomorrow.