Today is World Oceans Day! A time where people around the world celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how each of us can protect it no matter where we live.
In honor of today, we proudly highlight the work of Disney Science Operations Manager Dr. Andy Stamper. He focuses on the wellbeing of oceans and marine life around the globe. In partnership with Disney Cruise Line and The Disney Conservation Fund, Dr. Stamper is leading a multi-year project to rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas. Dr. Stamper, alongside a team of Cast and Crew Members, was the first in The Bahamas to implement coral nurseries. And as a result, they’re able to study the impacts on reefs as well as successfully grow and transplant new corals.
One of the issues endangering coral reefs is the overgrowth of algae, preventing new coral to grow. Dr. Stamper and his team work together to relocate long-spine sea urchins native to the area to nearby coral reefs endangered by algae growth. The sea urchins graze on algae similar to how a lawnmower cuts grass, allowing new coral to grow.
Take a look at this video for a deeper look.
Since this program first started in 2007, the team regularly shares their knowledge with other Bahamian organizations – expanding coral reef rehab and environmental education efforts throughout The Bahamas.
This coral reef restoration project in The Bahamas is just one of many ways The Walt Disney Company is supporting environmental efforts around the world. The Disney Conservation Fund has provided nearly $13 million to marine conservation programs spanning every ocean across the globe, including more than 70 grants to help protect coral reefs.
Disney Cruise Line is also committed to minimizing our impact on the environment. Most recently we announced the elimination of plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, shopping bags and condiment packets in an effort to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic onboard. You can learn more about Disney Cruise Line environmental efforts here.