Could this giant underwater sculpture reignite marine life?

June 2021


Coral reefs are the lifeblood of many island communities, providing food, jobs and healthy marine ecosystems. But by 2030, scientists predict we will lose 90% of reefs with current rates of degradation.

A team of artists, divers and marine biologists have a unique solution. By planting giant sculptures underwater they hope to restore these magnificent ecosystems and ignite ecotourism in vulnerable island communities. The structures – one to be launched in the Dominican Republic this month will set the world record for the tallest underwater sculpture at 20 feet tall – are infused with coral grown on land using microfragmentation techniques, which presents a training opportunity for skilled locals.

However, the sculptures are made of concrete, which contributes to 44% of all carbon emissions. This prompts questions surrounding how far this innovation goes to tackle climate change.

This feature will explore how art could offer a solution to coral degradation and the added impact of ecotourism in alleviating poverty. This is particularly vital for communities in the Dominican Republic, where the Global Coralition’s most recent project is located, as the national poverty rate is at a significant 14.2%.


[Name] Artist and co-founder of Global Coralition

Representative from Go Dominican Republic tourism board

Local diver trainee