Helping to preserve and protect the TCI environment
Our projects are intended to help educate, protect and monitor the health of the TCI environment, especially coral reefs and their inhabitants around the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Be a Citizen Scientist! - Report A Lionfish
Help us track the lionfish invasion around the TCI. If you are snorkeling or diving and see a lionfish, please report it to us using our easy reporting form. Click here to go to the reporting page.
Adopt a Coral Program
You can help to protect the reefs of the Turks & Caicos Islands by adopting a coral. This program allows individuals to adopt a coral fragment that is growing in our coral nursery. This fragment is cared for in a special coral nursery until it is large enough to be transplanted onto one of our reefs. It's part of our RESCQ (Restoration of Ecosystem Services and Coral Reef Quality) Program. For only $50, you can adopt your own coral and help save the reefs! Just click the PayPal button below. We'll send you your adoption papers! Click here to go to the Adopt-A-Coral page.
TCI Dolphin Defense Fund
Please Help Us
Create a Safe Haven for Dolphins Retired from Entertainment Facilites
The Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) have long been a safe haven for wild dolphins. Our laws forbade the holding of marine mammals in captivity. In the early 1990’s, three of the remaining captive dolphins in the UK were flown to the TCI to be rehabilitated and released into the wild.
We want to build on that history and create a Dolphin Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Center which would provide a home to the many dolphins who are being retired from entertaining the public. More and more organizations are realizing how inhumane it is to keep dolphins and other marine mammals in captivity, so they are beginning to close the doors of these facilities. Pressure from tourists to and tour operators are contributing to this change.
This means, these dolphins need a place to either be retrained to catch their own live food so they can be released back into the wild or be housed in a safe environment for the rest of their natural lives without having to perform silly tricks for their food. The Turks & Caicos are an ideal location for such a facility with a large local dolphin population, warm, clear tropical waters and the experience of previous successful rehabilitation efforts.
Since 2012, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund has been the lead non-governmental organization for the installation and maintenance of dive boat, snorkel boat and yacht moorings throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR). DECR is the local governmental agency responsible for maintaining the marine protected areas in the TCI as well as all other environmental issues. As of March 2017, we have installed 78 proper sea floor anchors (no more chains wrapped around coral heads!) and mooring lines for dive boat moorings, 16 snorkel boat moorings and 5 yacht moorings - 28 of the dive moorings and all snorkel and yacht moorings are brand new sites.
Since 2012, the TCRF has worked with at teacher at British West Indies Collegiate to help introduce middle and high school children to the wonders of the marine world. The last period of each Friday is devoted to special "clubs" the students choose to participate in. The Reef Action Team (RATs) meet and snorkel, do beach clean ups, scuba dive, and conduct various other activities to increase their knowledge and appreciation for the marine environment of the TCI.
UPDATE TO THE PROJECT: In June 2015, the ring of boundary buoys marking the shallowest parts of the reef was replaced by a group of TCRF volunteers. In August 2012, the TCRF, with help from DEMA and the TC Hotel and Tourism Association, installed new signage on the beach at both sides of the Bight Reef Snorkel Trail (one by Coral Gardens access and one by Windsong access). The signs provide helpful information about where the snorkel trail is and basic coral reef safety suggestions.
Preparing the boundary buoy line
December 2010. The job is done. With the help of over a dozen volunteers, all the snorkel trail markers on the White House (Coral Gardens) Reef Snorkel Trail were removed, brought to shore, cleaned of years of accumulated calcium carbonate and other deposits and then reinstalled. Two divers were kept busy nearly all day, removing and replacing the snorkel trail markers. A large team of volunteers spent hours with their hands immersed in vinegar, scraping and scrubbing the glazed ceramic tiles that mount to reef balls to form the snorkel trail markers. But everyone had a great time, and the snorkel trail markers all look brand new. Thanks to everyone who helped and to everyone who stopped by while we were working on the beach to learn more about the TCRF and, in many cases, to donate to our cause. Thanks also to Somewhere Cafe and Lounge who not only provided logistical support for the cleaning effort, but hosted a beach BBQ and music to keep us and our volunteers entertained. Finally, thanks to Provo Turtle Divers for supplying the scuba tanks we needed to complete the work. The video and photos below highlight how the work was done and the results.