North Bali Reef Conservation

Written By Sydney, Latitudes Year ’20 Indonesia

Hello from Bali! I am currently living in a village called Tianyar on the North East coast of the island. For the past few weeks I have been working with other volunteers and local fishermen to deploy reef structures into the ocean out front of where I have been living.

Each morning we go to the beach to either build, move, or deploy these massive cement structures. To make them we dig four holes in the sand to act as legs for the structure then fill them with cement. The legs exist to make sure the structures don’t get covered by sand underwater and because fish like to swim through them. After we have our legs we make a base. This is the fun part. We get to design the structure however we want! I have made octopi, manta rays, and many other fun designs. The rougher the structure the better because coral polyps will stick to them easier. After, we move the structures to the water! It takes four people to lift just one of them and for moving them to the beach we use bamboo poles!

On Thursday’s, weather permitting, we get to scuba dive in order to put these structures in place. Getting scuba certified was definitely one of the greatest decisions of my life. I have gotten the chance to dive around Bali a fair amount as we get weekends off of work to explore! My favorite place I have dived thus far was Komodo National Park, which I visited a week ago. There I saw mantas, turtles, and hundreds of other really cool fish! Diving each week on top of weekend dives has been such a treat!

After diving, we have breakfast and free time until the afternoon when we go to the recycling center down the road. There we work to turn plastic from beach clean ups we do on Monday’s into tiles that can be used in building! Working at the center is pretty tedious, but with so many other cool volunteers that are close to my age it makes the time go by really fast!

In the night we all hang out around our living area and play games. Some nights we even go to neighboring towns to watch live bands play! I have made a lot of really amazing people who I hope to keep in touch with for years to come! It’s a really supportive environment and I really believe I picked the right placement for me. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to work in such a beautiful place!