New Heaven Reef Conservation Program on Turtle Island

Baby sea turtle on the palm of the vet

The New Heaven Diving School (NHDS) on Turtle Island is much more than a diving school. With more than 20 years on the island and a focus on personalized small group instruction, safety, and having a good time, their instructors are just the right guides for our Marine Animal Anatomy, Biology, and Conservation course.
The instructors at NHDS are committed to coral reef research and conservation.

It starts with preserving the namesake of the island itself – the sea turtle. Since populations are dangerously small and only 1 in 1000 turtle hatchlings survive in the wild, New Heaven occasionally receives turtle hatchlings to raise at their small nursery. Even when there aren’t turtles in the nursery, the conservation team is surveying for wild turtles year-round and building a database of the turtle’s unique facial features so every photo of a turtle on Koh Tao can be identified by name.

But head-starting and ID’ing turtles isn’t enough if they don’t have a home. Among their other conservation projects are coral and giant clam nurseries, sea horse studies, “coralivore” removals, artificial reef building and accelerated coral recovery, mooring line maintenance, trash removal, and research partnerships with the Prince of Songkhla University.

There’s no doubt we’re in good hands with the New Heaven team, and so are the reefs.

Check out New Heaven’s latest research publications.