Living Reefs Foundation

photo credit: Alex Pilgrim

Soltrino supports the Living Reefs Foundation and the work it is doing to restore Bermuda’s damaged coral reefs by adopting a mini-coral garden every year.

 Started in 2014 with a team of scientists, environmentalists, and watersport enthusiasts, LRF uses innovative and state-of-the-art techniques for a range of boulder and branching coral species.  In 2016, LRF launched its Coral Gardening Initiative, a program in which they can restore damaged reefs, develop, research, and educate the community on our impact on this wonderful ecosystem and how we can continue to keep the reefs healthy for the present and the future.

Our Ecosystem

Bermuda is one of the world’s most isolated oceanic islands and supports the most-northern coral reef system in the world.  Over many decades, coral reef health has declined worldwide, but Bermuda’s coral reef remains relatively healthy – making it a natural laboratory for sampling ocean health in the mid-Atlantic.  However, the proximity of our densely populated island to these coral reefs is a considerable threat.  Our activities, paired with climate change, affect the health of these beautiful marvels of life.  The Living Reefs Foundation launched its Coral Gardening initiative back in 2016, allowing Bermuda’s residents to get involved in our local reefs’ health.

photo credit: Alex Pilgrim

photo credit: Alex Pilgrim

Why Do Coral Reefs Matter?

Coral reefs are critical to our environment, livelihood, and economy! Not only do coral reefs support the most biodiversity on this planet, but they also do a lot for humans.

We can thank the coral reefs for creating Bermuda’s lifestyle and culture that we take so much pride in. From our lifestyle of boating, scuba diving, snorkeling to the pink sand beaches that we play and rest on, we have it pretty good. The reefs are also a huge tourism draw, with tourists flocking to taste a piece of what we call our “every day.”  Without our reefs, the coastal formation would decline, and we would lose an estimated $405 million a year’s worth of tourism. (1)

The coral reef acts as a natural buffer against storms and waves. The reefs’  complex shapes and underwater “walls” reduce the intensity of incoming waves(2) and save Bermuda’s residents an estimated $266 million a year in flooding and property damage. (1)* Considering climate change increases the number of storms the world is seeing, we need our reefs to protect us.

About half a million people worldwide depend on fish that live and feed on coral reefs(2). Bermuda’s fishery value is $4.9 million a year(1), sustaining cultural traditions, livelihood, and a healthy fish and shellfish population. Damaged reefs mean a loss of habitat and a greater reliance on imported fish for Bermudians.*

While scientists have created medicines from plants forever, they are now discovering that they can develop new and powerful medicines and natural supplements using the chemical compounds found in species that live on the coral reefs! (2)

The Living Reefs Foundation Process

The Coral Garden Initiative, a project started in 2016, aims to cultivate, outplant, and monitor to restore the coral reef.  This process of coral gardening involves obtaining young corals, growing them in land-based nurseries, and outplanting them to damaged areas on a structure fixed to the seabed.  The LRF, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), are pursuing gardening methods that grow more biodiverse and environmentally sustainable colonies.  These results will benefit many reefs beyond Bermuda and the Caribbean.

The Aims of the R&D Phase of Coral Gardening*

  • Develop a pilot restoration system to increase coral cover and natural recruitment in damaged areas.

  • Develop a coral gardening system that can expand to other damaged sites

  • Increase awareness of Bermuda’s residents, visitors, and youth of the value of coral reefs and of the means available to conserve this ecosystem

  • Build an evidence base that supports coral gardening and restoration in the wider Caribbean and beyond through scientific experiments

  • Develop and build reef bases that will blend into the natural reef and support a diversity of coral species.


photo credit: Alex Pilgrim

photo credit: Alex Pilgrim

Your Donation and Support of the LRF Makes A Difference

If you would like to make a donation to the LRF, we’ve added a donation option at checkout. Additionally, you may also make a donation without making a purchase by following the link below.  The LRF uses 85% of all funds received for reef-related work, including research, coral planting, and developing a tourism/conservation partnership for sustainable coral conservation.  You can also support The Living Reefs Foundation by attending educational workshops or adopting your mini-coral garden or baby coral.

How You Can Help

The impact of our daily living on coral reefs, whether it is right here on this island or 1000s of miles away in a land-locked town, can have damaging effects. A lot of dangers occur directly on the water, but many of our activities on land end up affecting the corals, too.  Here are some ways in which you can help keep our coral reefs healthy.

When disposing of trash, do it completely in its proper bin.  Debris can get swept up by the wind and deposited into the ocean where it will cause much damage to marine life and the coral reefs.  When you do look at throwing something away, make sure to use the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Try using environmentally-friendly modes of transportation such as walking, riding your bicycle, taking public transportation, or opting for cars that are fuel-efficient like hybrid or electric.   Vehicles emit greenhouse gasses that affect ocean acidification and increase temperatures. More acidic ocean water impedes coral growth and warmer waters cause coral bleaching.

Minimize garden fertilizers because the nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are washed into waterways and end up in our ocean.  These nutrients pollute the ocean water and can harm the coral reef.

Save energy at home and work by turning off lights, electronics, and devices that are not being used.  Many products that use electricity to run are now made energy-efficient.

When snorkeling or diving, do not touch the reef as it can harm the delicate coral animals; and know the boating laws when enjoying a beautiful day on the waters – anchoring onto the reef will kill it.

We suggest cutting down on your sunscreen and wearing UPF swimwear, clothing, and headwear.  When you do use sunscreen to cover the skin that is exposed, use products that do not have these listed ingredients:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • PABA
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Any nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium (if it doesn’t explicitly say “micro-sized” or “non-nano” and it can rub in, it’s probably nano-sized)
  • Any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads”

(1) Living Reefs, accessed January 11, 2022, <>

(2) UN Eviroment Programme, February 28, 2020, Seven Ways You’re Connected to Coral Reefs, <>

(3) United States Enviromental,Protection Agency n.d., What You Can Do to Help Protect Coral Reefs, accessed January 11, 2022, <>

Learn more about Living Reefs Foundation by watching PBS: Bermuda: Life at Ocean's Edge | Changing Seas