GARF has been working very hard to set up a project to train village women to grow live rock in Baja, Mexico and on the east coast of Mexico. We have decided that the best way to start these projects is by training people in Mexico to be rock farming teachers
There is a market for live rock; there is a need to not take existing reef or live rock from the ocean. By making rock you are creating jobs. The investment is small. The market is huge. The rewards are the revenue that can be generated in the village. This steady income empowers the family. Sally Jo and the staff at GARF are training the teachers needed to help women in villages to make and farm live rock.
With a steady income coming from the rock harvest people will learn to love and appreciate the life in the ocean. This love can lead to educational programs and a deeper understanding of the life cycles of these animals.
It is our goal, our mission, our vision to help save the worlds reefs. If we have to do this one hobbyist tank at a time, one pet store at a time, or one village with a wild reef at a time we are making the biggest contribution to the next generations.
AND IT USED NOTHING FROM THE WILD REEF.
My task is difficult for I am in Boise, Idaho, and we are so far away from the Ocean. Each day we start off by remembering what we do is - Think Globally and Act Locally.
When we are working with people close to the ocean I wear a different hat because their role is even more important. It is through these slides that I will try hard to explain what I mean by this statement.
The only way we feel that GARF can make a positive impact with our project and the wild reefs is by teaching others what we know.
I feel that women give such insight to this amazing resource, they are nurturing, care giving, and money conscious. When planning this project we must keep several things in mind. We need to learn what needs to be done to safeguard the natural resources! We need to plan our village farms so they increase the fisheries. In many places the village men catch what they feed their family (It certainly is not an endless bounty).
It has become increasingly clear to us that we need to develop programs that actually provide money for the families so that children can be fed properly and go to school. The village women need to find ways to purchase shoes and cloths and so much more that we take for granted every single day.
Often I have been asked "Sally Jo how do you take such great pictures of your reefs?" I answer; I take them with my heart. One should also realize that this is the energy I share in teaching, and writing. I feel that GARF's message is so important and far reaching. It is one that has to be told over and over again. So bear with me when I write these articles I am just trying to bring forth the message from my heart.