Today, June 8, is World Oceans Day — a time when countries all around the world put a focus on our oceans and the sea life that is endangered. Recently, I wrote a comprehensive article about watch brands that are working to save the world’s oceans and life therein — from sharks to manta rays and coral. The article appeared on TheWatchpages and if you are so inclined, click on the link above to read about 10 top brands working to do their part (Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Carl. F. Bucherer, IWC, Omega, Oris, Rolex, Seiko, Ulysse Nardin). Today, we are taking a closer look at one of the efforts from Swiss watch brand Oris: helping the Coral Restoration Foundation replenish the reefs.
I am choosing to write about Oris because I have had first-hand experience — joining Oris a couple of years ago in the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma hit. Oris had recently partnered with the Coral Restoration Foundation, and brought a select group of journalists to visit CRF and explore the efforts the organization was making to save the oceans’ coral.
It was one of the most enlightening trips I have recently been on from an educational standpoint — learning about something other than watches. Not only did we attend presentations about CRF’s efforts, but also we took an expedition into the oceans to witness first-hand the replanting of coral. Those journalists who dive were able to help harvest and replant coral. The rest of us snorkeled and watched from a slight distance.
With many of our world’s coral reefs in danger, this is a project that has become near and dear to my heart. Essentially, CRF harvests strong pieces of local coral, and relocates it to the organization’s underwater Nurseries. There, attached to man-made PVC “trees” in 20-foot deep waters, the coral grows. For nine months, the tiny piece of coral gets the proper care. Nurtured daily, the CRF crew regularly dives to the “trees” and cleans the coral of algae and fire coral, among other things, so that it can thrive. Over the entire nine months, the coral grows from a finger-length piece to a small basketball-sized piece that is ready to be replanted on the coral reefs.
In our underwater adventure there, we visited the CRF Coral Tree Nursery®, retrieved “reef ready” coral and took it to Pickles Reef to out plant it in the hopes of future growth. I swam above the water staring down at the divers below.
Suffice it to say, though, that my awareness of ocean plights has forever been heightened by this experience. I am grateful to Oris for that. Yes, we all wore Oris watches during our adventure — but the real goal of raising awareness of the work of CRF was definitely accomplished.
I am proud to say that this was not a one-off support venture. Today, Oris continues to support the CRF, as well as a host of other ocean and water causes. It continues to create watches that benefit a host of different efforts. Just recently, it unveiled the Lake Baikal Limited edition watch to support the study of one of the worlds’ most important fresh-water sources. Bravo to this independent brand that has the courage and fortitude to support the causes it believes in — thankfully this one benefits us all.