It’s no secret that I am passionate about spending our travel dollars wisely, as well as conservation of natural environments and animal welfare. It can take a bit of extra effort, but finding the right place to spend your money is well worth it, and it can really make a difference.
During my research for our trip to Indonesia, I found Reef Seen in Bali, and, after a quick look around their website, I knew I would end up there. The last place I felt this passionate about was Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. The folks at Reef Seen are doing phenomenal work both to conserve (and restore) the amazing underwater world in Pemuteran, as well as in with some of the traditional Balinese customs. We were fortunate to spend nearly a week at Reef Seen in Pemuteran, Bali, diving, checking out their extensive conservation efforts and relaxing on the ocean front property.
Coral Reef Conservation
Reef Seen plays a huge role in the Reef Gardeners of Pemuteran, a fantastic group that creates and maintains the dive sites in the area. Since cyanide and bomb fishing damaged many of the local reefs, the Reef Gardeners were founded in 2000 as a means to restore the local reefs, provide jobs for the locals and increase the tourism to the area. They are doing some truly phenomenal work. The Bio-wreck dive site was created in 2005, with a massive steel ship dropped to provide a structure for new coral polyps to attach to. A steel turtle was also dropped in 2009.
Underwater Temple Garden consists of large 4m high Balinese candi bentar gateway dropped at 30m depth, with ten Buddha statues at 15m.
Garden of the Gods is an exciting new dive site just created in May 2014. It consists of 17 large statues, and will surely be impressive! Below are the statues before they were dropped (left) and a replica of the new site (right).
Check out this incredible video from Reef Seen about their new dive site, as well as some footage of it actually being dropped to the bottom of the ocean! It even includes some shots of their other projects.
[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrzgnpCYfII” ]
Sea Turtle Conservation
I have always loved Sea Turtles, and I’m still dying to see them in the wild, but Project Penyu – The Turtle Project at Reef Seen is a close second. The main purpose of the Turtle Project is to raise awareness of conservation of sea turtles, but they also have a hatchery you can visit.
P. E. T. – Pemuteran Environment and Community Trust began in 2009 as a way for local businesses to contribute to the environment of Pemuteran. They are funded solely on donations from tourists, which are then distributed among various projects such as marine conservation, coastal management and other community projects.
Reef Seen Dancers
The Reef Seen Dancers were created in an effort to keep the balinese traditional dance alive. Twice a week, dancers gather at Reef Seen to practice, and every Saturday night you can catch a show at one of the local restaurants.
The resort of Reef Seen is also fantastic. The beds are comfy, and the room is large. We had a sea facing bungalow with an outdoor private bathroom. Breakfast is pretty good (I am still trying recreate the thick and fluffy balinese banana pancakes I fell in love with), and has a fantastic view overlooking the ocean. There are ample lounge chairs and a snorkeling spot just steps away from the restaurant. There are also several lovely restaraunts within walking distance.
We fell in love with Reef Seen, their mission and all of their projects during our time in Pemuteran. Have you ever stayed at a place like this?