Friday, August 3, 2018
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding The World's Coral Reefs, written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2018. $24.99 ages 8 and up
One optimistic experiment ...
Six small coral colonies -
glued onto a limestone
surface where a reef had
once flourished and was
now bleached and barren.
Would they grow?"
I was astounded when I first read this story. So, I read it again. Then, I read it again now as I want it to be front of mind as I tell you about it. It is a truly remarkable look at Ken Nedimyer, who was fascinated with the ocean from his earliest days, and remains so to this day.
"He loved the ocean.
He watched TV shows about underwater
explorer Jacques Cousteau.
He visited the beach whenever he could,
swimming far out to a world of angelfish and sea stars.
The reefs of the Florida Keys
teemed with life."
There was much to learn about the coral reefs, and Ken set about learning all he could. Imagine his horror when he saw the reefs changing. They were less colorful; there were fewer fish. He was watching the reefs die, and had absolutely no idea what to do about it.
Later, as an adult, he learned what he needed to know. He watched staghorn corals grow on his live rock farm. He and his daughter took pieces of the coral and attached them to other rocks. What an inspiration, and what a difference one person CAN make!
The rest of his story is inspiring, and today his Coral Restoration Foundation volunteers work tirelessly at his side. Their success is amazing. He travels the world sharing what he has learned with other countries, in hopes that coral reefs everywhere will come to full life again.
"The corals may spawn, and if one tiny life lands in
just the right spot, another new colony will grow.
And then another."
What great news!
Matthew Forsythe's light-infused illustrations create a perfect setting for this hopeful story. The color palette is ever-changing, allowing readers to see the full beauty of the ocean and feel the movement in its flowing waters.
In backmatter, the author provides further information about the dying reefs themselves, tips on how kids can make a difference, a useful list of resources, and a glossary.