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Gator Halpern from Coral Vita at first facility Grand Bahama
Revive Our
2021 Winner

Coral Vita

Area of Impact:
Nominated by:
African Leadership Group,
Echoing Green,
Solar Impulse Foundation

Climate change, pollution and overfishing are set to destroy over 90% of reefs by 2050. Coral Vita grows coral on land to replant in oceans.

Their Story

Ocean warming and acidification are a death sentence for the quarter of marine life who need them to survive. It will be a disaster, too, for the nearly billion human lives dependent on the valuable benefits reefs provide like jobs, food security, and shelter from storms.

A year after Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern launched Coral Vita’s first facility in Grand Bahama, Hurricane Dorian’s record-breaking storm surge destroyed their coral farm. The experience brought home the extent of the climate emergency and strengthened their resolve to protect our reefs.

Using an innovative commercial model to fund ecosystem-scale restoration, Coral Vita incorporate cutting-edge methods to grow coral up to 50 times faster than nature and improve their resilience to the impact of climate change.

Coral Vita was the winning solution for the 2021 Earthshot Prize Revive Our Oceans category. In the year since they won, Sam, Gator and the team have invested their Earthshot Prize prizemoney into financing their first major restoration off the coast of Grand Bahama where they have so far planted 6,000 coral fragments and counting. They have been able to scale up their personnel by hiring several key R&D team members, and purchased breakthrough lab equipment allowing year-round and predictable coral reproduction. 

And, an additional £500,000 in funding from DP World means they are also now laying the foundations for the first-ever commercial land-based coral farm for restoration in the Middle East. They have been commissioned by a top university in that region to help design a new coral farm, and Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Member Deloitte has supported the development of their growth model with specific clarity on the scale proposition for potential customers and partners around the world. Ultimately, they envision a global network of large-scale coral farms helping kickstart a restoration economy and preserving ocean life for future generations. 

The publicity associated with becoming Earthshot Prize Winners led to a major fundraising partnership to fund restoration with Corona Beer, Sam and Gator joined Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and the Prince of Wales at Dubai Expo in 2022, and at The Earthshot Prize’s introduction took counsel from US Climate Envoy Sec. John Kerry.

Their impact so far

Since winning the 2021 Earthshot Prize to Revive our Oceans, Coral Vita have been leading the world in the development of coral restoration projects.

Use of Prize Money

Funding from The Earthshot Prize has helped Coral Vita finance its first major restoration project off the coast of Grand Bahama. The team has made new hires, including additional Bahamian staff, expanded investment in R&D, and upgraded its equipment. In addition, the money has helped fund the new ‘Earthshot Happy Tank’ which allows Coral Vita to optimise conditions like temperature, acidity, light, and water flow.

Key Milestones

Coral Vita was hired amongst a team of restoration experts to develop what will be the world’s largest coral restoration project at NEOM, Saudi Arabia. The culmination of this work over 18 months led to Coral Vita being hired to operate the farm’s first phase in the first ever significant commercial contract of its kind. The coral nursery, which will revitalise reefs around Shushah Island, will be the largest and most advanced facility for coral restoration in the world.

Environmental and Social

Since winning The Earthshot Prize, Coral Vita has grown around 20,000 corals and outplanted over 15,000 across multiple restoration sites in Grand Bahama, with some areas experiencing a twofold increase in fish populations compared to pre-restoration surveys.

Connections Made

At the 2021 Earthshot Prize Innovation Showcase in Dubai, Global Alliance Founding Partner DP World granted £500k in funding to Coral Vita. This has allowed the team team to expand globally, laying the foundations of the first land-based coral farm in the United Arab Emirates.

Global Alliance member Deloitte provided consulting support to Coral Vita to refine its operating model to help it scale more effectively and have greater impact over the coming years .

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Other 2021 Revive Our Oceans Finalists

The Earthshot Prize