Efron has journeyed the world exploring healthy, sustainable ways to live – and this is in addition to his wildly successful acting career. Even better than that, for his travel show, “Down to Earth with Zac Efron,” Zac spent time with our coral reef restoration team at the Great Barrier Reef.
“Coral reefs – the engine of ocean biodiversity and productivity representing 25% of all marine life – are first in line to disappear almost completely within the next 25 years,” says our Senior Director of Sustainable Solutions Jos van Oostrum. “We simply cannot let this happen on our watch. The most precious gift we can give each other, our children and the world is that of HOPE…. A simple, powerful word which shows we can restore the damage done to ecosystems as a consequence of our own behaviors and actions."
To be clear: we’ve not invested in coral reef restoration for Hollywood glory — nor is it a one-hit marketing moment. It’s a long-term investment in our planet. By the end of the decade, and starting with the SHEBA® HOPE Reef, we have plans to restore more than 185,000 square meters of reef (that’s roughly 150 Olympic swimming pools) globally.
The Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS) uses three-foot-wide, star-shaped, steel structures, known as reef stars, which are coated with sand and tied with live coral fragments. The stars are positioned directly on top of coral rubble fields (that show no signs of recovery) caused by historically destructive fishing techniques, turning them back into flourishing reefs.
In six restoration sites across the globe, we’ve planted 500,000 corals ourselves — coral cover has increased from less than 5% to 70% within two years, enabling a 300% increase in fish. Thanks to more than 500 Mars-trained reef builders and ambassadors, more than 750,000 corals have been planted.
“A world of restored and revitalized coral reefs thriving alongside resilient coastal communities is a powerful vision,” says Chair of the Board Frank Mars, “and one that we let slip at our peril. We must keep it in sight.”
Check out season two, episode three, “Great Barrier Reef” on Netflix, where Efron spotlights our work.