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Kuleana Coral Reef Restoration Continues SHEBA’s Global Environmental Movement

Pet Age Staff//July 18, 2023//

Kuleana Coral Reef Restoration Continues SHEBA’s Global Environmental Movement

Pet Age Staff //July 18, 2023//

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Press release: SHEBA

Coral reefs are dying and according to sources like the National Ocean Service and the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, climate change is a large reason why. Besides the obvious harmful effects on the ocean’s ecosystems and the consequent impact on fish — scientists predict that 90 percent of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone in the next 20 years, threatening 25 percent of the world’s marine life — it’s also devastating to coastal communities. Without intervention, nearly half a billion people who depend on coral reefs for food, income and coastal protection may be impacted.

The SHEBA brand, a proud part of the Mars family of brands, won’t stand idly by. That’s why, during Coral Reef Awareness Week, with the help of Auli`i Cravalho, Hawaiian-born actress, singer and cat parent, the SHEBA brand is announcing its continued commitment to restoring coral reefs. The brand is thrilled to bring its efforts closer to home, through a partnership with Kuleana Coral Reefs, a nonprofit organization helping to restore and protect Hawai`i’s coral reefs and native ecosystem.

“More coral means more fish, and more fish helps maintain marine ecosystems here in Hawai`i, and around the world,” said Alika Garcia, co-founder of Kuleana Coral Reefs. “We’re happy to be working together with the SHEBA brand to maximize our impact in the archipelago. By protecting coral, we’re protecting our family.”

The word “Kuleana” means “reciprocal responsibility” in Hawaiian, pulling from a deep emotional and spiritual connection between the natural world and native Hawaiians. To honor one’s “Kuleana,” Hawaiians must care for, nurture and love coral (and all living things), and coral has a reciprocal responsibility to feed and love Hawaiians.

This shared responsibility to our environment, mutual mission to ensure the future has more fish and sustained action to protect and support our oceans is what has brought the SHEBA brand together with Kuleana Coral Reefs. Meaningful partnerships, like this one, help expand impact. With the SHEBA brand’s support, Kuleana Coral Reefs has already accelerated its work to the broader Hawaiian archipelago – increasing from 10 to 30 sites across O’ahu and Maui.

“We know that cats love fish, and while we all want to provide our beloved picky eaters with high-quality and nutritious food, care should be taken to minimize impact on the planet,” said Jean-Paul Jansen, vice president of marketing for Mars Petcare North America. “As a brand that’s proudly part of Mars, we believe the world we want tomorrow is one in which the planet is healthy, which is why we are taking continued action today to help achieve that. We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Kuleana Coral Reefs to maximize impact here in the U.S. to help ensure a future with more fish.”

To rally support for this coral reef restoration, the SHEBA brand has partnered with Auli`i Cravalho, Hawaiian-born actress, singer and pet parent to her cat Rocco, to show that everyone can make a difference to help restore the health of the planet.

“I grew up on the beaches and coastlines of Hawai`i, surrounded by the ocean, and I’ve seen firsthand the impact climate change has had,” said Cravalho. “I feel strongly that we all have a responsibility to make the future more sustainable. That’s why I’m excited that my partnership with the SHEBA brand allows me to shine a spotlight on an extraordinary organization, Kuleana Coral Reefs, and the work they’re doing to preserve and restore the beauty in our oceans to help ensure our future has fish.”

Cravalho is encouraging everyone to join her, the SHEBA brand and Kuleana Coral Reefs to practice Laulima, a Hawaiian term for many hands working together; everyone can help work towards a future with healthier reefs and more fish, even in simple ways:

Look but don’t touch: Be mindful that coral is a living creature and touching or stepping on it can harm or even kill it. If you’re lucky enough to be near coral, be responsible and lend a hand, or in this case, a hand off, to help preserve coral.

Use reef-safe sunscreen: Sunscreen made with chemicals is toxic to fish, corals and other marine life. Avoiding sunscreens with oxybenzone and oxtinoxate is a great first step in protecting the reef, both on and off the beach. Look for a more reef-safe sunscreen with mineral ingredients or a physical UVA and UVB barrier.
Always leave nature better than you found it: That means picking up after yourself so trash doesn’t find its way into the ocean and harm the coral. Whether it’s collecting trash from the beach or a dive, or using reusable bags and water bottles to cut down on waste, everyone can do their part.

The cat food brand’s Sheba Hope Grows program has been working to ensure a future with more fish since 2019 — leading with Hope Reef. Located off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, the reef is one of the world’s largest repaired coral reefs and spells out the word “HOPE” when viewed from above. It’s even become a Historical Landmark on Google Earth and can be found on Google Maps and StreetView. Since work began, coral growth has increased from two percent to 70 percent, fish populations have increased by 260 percent and there’s been a 64 percent rise in the number of fish species.

By showing the world that there’s a man-made solution to this man-made problem that can be implemented at scale, the SHEBA brand is inspiring others, driving momentum and demonstrating that it is possible to have a plentiful, sustainable fish population for years to come.

Coral reef restoration represents a vital step towards preserving our planet’s health and biodiversity