PIYOGA Bio Rock build in Gili Trawangan: Our Mission to Save Sea Turtles

Posted by Larissa Miller on

PIYOGA pants are more than just yoga pants. They’re pants with a purpose. PIYOGA proudly donates 10% of net profits directly towards sea turtle and ocean conservation efforts in Bali and around the world.

PIYOGA Sea Turtles
Larissa Miller, Founder of PIYOGA, swimming with a sea turtle for the very first time.

 

The Founder, Larissa Miller, has always had a passion for ocean conservation and was determined to find a real way to make an impact. She knew she didn’t want to blindly donate money to an organization because then you never really know where the money ends up. The month of July 2017, we took the PIYOGA team to Bali to learn about ocean conservation and to work on a special project to rebuild the coral reef with the Gili Eco Trust.

 

Gili Eco Trust and PIYOGA ocean conservation team

The Gili Eco Trust Headquarters on Gili Trawangan.

 

The Gili Eco Trust is a local non-government organization dedicated to protecting the coral reefs and promoting a sustainable marine life just off the shore of Bali. The Gili Eco Trust has extended its activities to many eco projects to regenerate coral reefs, clean up, educate, do reef gardening, organize recycling and garbage selection, do research and studies with universities, set up sustainable Eco tourism with green energies, give animal care clinics and much more.

Delphine with the Gili Eco Trust

Delphine with the Gili Eco Trust explaining why the coral is dying.

 

Our oceans and reef are in serious danger due to human negligence, destructive fishing methods, pollution and global warming. The list goes on and on. Coral reefs are in danger of being destroyed and in recent year coral reefs are dying at alarming rates. In the past 30 years, we have lost more than half the coral reefs in the world. All of which are very harmful for all marine life that are very dependent on a healthy reef, including sea turtles.

Bleached coral reef in Bali Indonesia Ocean Conservation efforts

When coral becomes bleached the extremities turn florescent blue before turning white.

 

Trash in the ocean

WATER AND AIR, THE TWO ESSENTIAL FLUIDS ON WHICH ALL LIFE DEPENDS, HAVE BECOME GLOBAL GARBAGE CANS. ~ JACQUES COUSTEAU

PIYOGA & Gili Eco Trust Team working together to protect our oceans. Ocean conservation is increasingly important as more and more trash is being dumped in the ocean.

Working together with the Gili Eco Trust to remove rubbish that has accumulated in the coral reef.

 

When Larissa started the PIYOGA brand she was living in Gili Trawangan and saw first-hand the dedication and strength the Gili Eco Trust had to make a positive impact on the island. After seeing their hard work and immediate impact with conservation activities she knew they would be a good and credible organization to work with. Given the alarming rates of destruction and pollution she knew it was important to act fast. A healthy ocean means a healthy world as we know it.

PIYOGA Team and Ambassadors meet in Bali to Help Save the Sea Turtles and work on Ocean Conservation in Indonesia.

Larissa Miller, Yasmine Grignard, Criccely Grijalva, Zarina Comaduran and Ravyn Reid all flew out from California to help save the sea turtles.

 

Fast forward to July 2017 and the PIYOGA team was off to Bali to work with the Gili Eco Trust on rebuilding the coral reef. We met Delphine, the executive director of the Gili Eco Trust, who educated us on pollution and explained in detail why our oceans, marine life, and humankind are in trouble - and what we can do to help.

Dead fish in the ocean. Ocean conservation is increasingly important

The ocean and all marine life are in trouble.

Dying coral reef in Bali Indonesia.
All the white coral that you see in this photo is bleached and on it's last leg of life.
A sea turtle resting on a pile of destroyed coral reef in Bali Indonesia
A sea turtle rests on top of a pile of destroyed coral.

One of the biggest problems in Gili Trawangan was that the coral reef had previously been destroyed by dynamite fishing and human negligence. Fortunately, since then such fishing methods have been outlawed but the reef remained in ruins.

PIYOGA Bio Rock

One way the Gili Eco Trust is helping is by creating “super coral” called biorocks. Biorocks are man-made structures that help the coral reef regrow up to 8 times faster than normal and best of all they are 100% sustainable.

PIYOGA team biorock

“The biorock technology is a novel technique to create artificial coral reefs, by building a steel structure and putting a low voltage of direct current through it when sunk in the ocean.”PIYOGA Bio Rock construction

While we were there PIYOGA pants fully sponsored the build and drop of a massive 10-foot bio rock in Gili Trawangan. Larissa Miller, Yasmine Grignard, Ravyn Reid, Criccely Grijalva, and Zarina Comaduran all flew out to Bali to help with the project and 15 other volunteers from the island came out to help us build the structure. After hours of cutting rebar and welding it together we finally completed our masterpiece.

Final Biorock project. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

The next day we got the team together in our diving gear to take the biorock out to sea. It took 6 of us to control the biorock underwater. The currents were strong but with determination we approached the landing spot and placed the structure side by side with the other coral structures so they would grow to create a wall. After the structure was in place we gathered coral that was still alive, but not rooted to substrate, onto the structures to attach to the structure.

PIYOGA Biorock build. The team puts on their diving gear to help take out the bio rock structure in hopes to rebuild the coral reef.

PIYOGA Biorock drop. The Pi Yoga Pants team takes their bio rock structure out to the ocean to help rebuild the coral reef

The dive expert then connected the rebar structures with copper to allow the low voltage current to create an electrolytic reaction which would create a stable substrate form of calcium carbonate around the metal. This reaction would provide a sturdy surface for the corals to become secure. The low voltage current running through the structures promotes the growth of stronger coral at incredible rates.

PIYOGA BiorockPIYOGA Bio Rock Drop

Out in the distance you can see more than 120 biorock structures that are flourishing with marine life. The process is working! Out of breath from swimming against the current, but feeling satisfied with the success and completion of our project we ascended for fresh air.

Biorock structures after 1 month. Ocean conservation PIYOGA

After 1 month of having a Biorock structure in the ocean the bond will begin to form.

Biorock structure after three months. PIYOGA ocean conservation

After 3 months the bond thickens and the coral begins to find strength.

 

The Biorock after 8 months. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

After 8 months the coral really beings to grow.

 

Biorock after 1 year. The Biorock after 8 months. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

After 1 year the coral begins to overtake the structure and experiences continued growth.

 

Biorock structure after 2 years. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

After 18 months the coral is becoming it's own garden under the sea and eventually it will completely over take the structure and continue to flourish under the sea.

 

PIYOGA diving team. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

Touched by passion, inspiration, and community it was amazing to see the good that people can create when they come together. Education about conservation is so important and it’s just incredible to feel the energy behind so many people that came out to help build the biorock and from all our customers who have supported the mission of PIYOGA pants.

PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

It is easy to get caught up in the day to day life and forget about the importance our daily actions have on our Earth. Being on the island, going swimming with the turtles and fish, and talking to locals was definitely a good reality check. There is no doubt how important it is to act to protect Mother Nature. The situation is serious but it is not hopeless and everyone can help. People do care, it’s just that not everyone knows how to help. Sometimes the scariest part is that not everyone believes that they can make a difference and they give up without even trying.

PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

Through all the heart wrenching facts we have learned the most important one is that by educating ourselves, staying committed to helping, and spreading the knowledge we can continue in the direction of progress. Never stop believing and please, help spread the word about the importance of conservation and sustainability!

Hard work and dirty hands. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles

Lastly, we would like to thank you. Thank you for trusting us and supporting PIYOGA. You have helped us make this small step towards a healthier ocean and we couldn't be more grateful. Furthermore, we are looking forward to going back to Gili Trawangan in November to check in on the evolution of our biorock and to sponsor the creation of another one off Gili Air. If you are interested in participating in the bio rock build, please reach out to us via email at info@piyogapants.com. Otherwise you can follow our progress on Instagram @piyogapants.

With love and gratitude.

Namaste

PIYOGA Save the Sea Turtles. PIYOGA ocean conservation. Save the sea turtles


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