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Tallest Underwater Sculpture in the World in Sosua Bay

August 30, 2020

How a living underwater statue is helping to accelerate coral reef restoration in Sosua, Dominican Republic.

Atabey, the Mother Earth spirit of the Taino – the indigenous people of the Dominican Republic, is soon to be an underwater sculptural reef installation in Sosua Bay.

A collective of artists, environmental NGO’s, and marine biologists have united to create the tallest underwater sculpture in the world, inspired by Atabey, the Universal Mother of the Taino people. The Taino were the indigenous people of the Dominican Republic, the first people to encounter Columbus and Spanish colonialism.

Through culture, art, and science, a community-driven movement is being led to improve both the ecology and quality of life for reef-dependent communities such as Sosua, Dominican Republic.

The sculpture being created symbolizes the revival of indigenous wisdom with the rehabilitation of marine ecosystems. Global Coralition, Magua Ecological Foundation, and Irka Mateo (a Taino elder) are working closely with a local team of marine ecologists and scientists to restore key species and habitats of fish, invertebrates and coral while mitigating the main causes of reef degradation, which are pollution and overfishing.

Art, Science & Culture Unite to Preserve the Reef in Sosua Bay

Manuel Rodriguez, a Marine Ecologist and founder of Magua Ecological Foundation has been working to restore Sosúa Bay’s marine ecology since he was 15 when he first witnessed its decline. Building on the years of his work and his incredible knowledge of this local ecosystem, Global Coralition has joined forces in the restoration effort, along with the support of Sam Mercado a coral scientist. Bridging art and science, the sculptural installation Atabey will hold hundreds of coral transplants and micro-fragmented corals to aid coral reef restoration.

The world’s coral has decreased by 50% in the last 30 years and are estimated to lose 90% by 2050. Coral reefs support 25% of all marine life. They absorb 97% of wave and storm energy, protecting coastlines. They provide food, livelihood and medicine to billions of people. Coral reefs are crucial for the survival and stability of all life on our planet.

More about Global Coralition

Global Coralition is an organization that unites art, science and communities to accelerate coral reef regeneration worldwide. Through the creation of large scale sculptures deployed into the ocean, the expansion into immersive underwater gardens for coral is formed.

The community is welcome in the mornings and near sunset to assist in the work preparing the sculpture for a new home for coral and fish.  Follow @globalcoralition for more updates about ongoing efforts in the water and on land.

Coral reef restoration Dominican Republic

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