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Diver int he Reef


Restoring Coral Reef Biodiversity

IntelliReef structures in Sint Maarten had nearly 100% coverage of biological organisms after just 14 months (November 2018-January 2020). We also found that IntelliReefs can foster more biodiversity than nearby natural reefs.

Sint Maarten Project Phases


Phase completed

Phase 1 consisted of deploying the first Oceanite prototypes in three different Marine Protected Area (MPA) sites off Cole Bay in Sint Maarten.

Reef Life Foundation, along with scientists, filmmakers, photographers, creatives, and leaders from the eco-tourism industry assisted the Nature Foundation SXM with their mission to restore the island’s coral reefs.

IntelliReefs Infographic Sint Maarten Caribbean


Phase completed

Phase 2 objectives included documenting and analyzing the success of the reef structures in fostering biodiversity and functioning as a substrate for coral recruits.


Oceanite substrates provide an incredible amount of surface area for a diversity of life to settle, and we found that all IntelliReefs deployed supported an increased cover of calcareous species such as crustose coralline algae (CCA) and brooding corals.


One of the most important findings was that the Oceanite deployed at all three sites in the Marine Protected Area had almost 100% coverage of plant and animal species on all substrates. This is significantly higher than the nearby natural reef, thus accelerating the health of both reefs. 

This infographic was made by our sister company, IntelliReefs. Together, we share Oceanite, scientists, marine architects, and more! Learn more about our partnership here:


Phase in progress

Our next goal is to add a large-scale project to increase habitat and continue research into both the ecological benefits of oceanite, the benefits of Marine Protected Areas and how to optimize eco-tourism to benefit the ecosystem and the community. This next deployment creates a unique dive attraction (>30 meters in diameter) by building oceanite in the shape of sea turtle. One benefit we plan to study is how such designs can decrease water temperatures by providing a variety of shade levels. We anticipate this phase will continue to improve the overall health of the reef and increase economic benefits to the island.

Sint Maarten Phase 3.1


Phase in progress

An important outcome from Phase 3 is an eco-tourism business model that supports MPAs and invites local tourism operators, resorts, and NGOs to invest and participate in building a world-class dive and snorkel attraction. This will generate critical revenue for the island and coastal communities, while protecting and enhancing the local marine habitat. When complete, the IntelliReefs dive reefs will enable tourists to participate in our conservation initiative by planting coral fragments grown in nurseries.

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