SHEBA reveals Hope Reef, the start of the world's largest coral reef restoration program to preserve and restore the beauty in our oceans. To support the announcement, the SHEBA team has partnered with activist, actress and entrepreneur, Kate Walsh, and her cat Pablo, to help grow hope. By the end of 2029, the program plans to restore coral reefs the size of nearly 150 Olympic Swimming Pools through its full coral restoration project.
As one of the leading cat food brands, SHEBA hopes to play the role of a catalyst, helping to ensure the future has coral reefs and fish. Hope Reef, located off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, in the Spermonde Archipelago, was built to visibly spell out the word 'H-O-P-E' from the seabed using restored coral to show the power of positive change, and spark action from others. The reef – which can be seen on Google Earth – was kicked off in 2019 and has already increased in coral cover from 5 to 55%, resulting in an abundance of fish and the return of species such as sharks and turtles.
"We know how much cats love fish, and it's important to provide all of our family members the high-quality, nutritious food they crave. But that shouldn't have to come at the expense of our oceans," said Craig Neely, Vice President of Marketing at Mars Petcare. "We're committed to doing our part to ensure our future has fish, and Hope Reef is our first step in doing so."
Scientists estimate that if we do nothing, 90% of the world's tropical reefs will be gone by 2043, threatening 25% of all the world's marine life and impacting nearly 500 million people who depend on them for food, income and coastal protection.1 The effort to solve this requires global cooperation on a massive scale and the SHEBA team hopes that the campaign will start a movement to contribute to the cause.
To rally support for the program, the SHEBA brand is excited to partner with Walsh, an animal lover and long-time advocate for ocean and marine life, and her cat Pablo, to inspire pet parents to take action and grow hope. Feline-loving fans can join the movement and experience the Hope Reef from home via a first-of-its-kind YouTube Channel. With every view of "The Film That Grows Coral" and other videos on the channel, the advertising money generated is invested back into coral reef regeneration through campaign partner, The Nature Conservancy. This is the first time ever that 100% of the funds from a branded YouTube channel have been reinvested to support sustainability efforts.
"We all have a responsibility to make our planet a better place. While Pablo may not know it, the food he loves depends on the future of fish," said Walsh. "That's why I am happy to be partnering with SHEBA to help encourage action from fellow feline families and inspire hope, that together we can create a positive change in the future of our ocean health."
Hope Reef furthers years of work done by the parent company of the SHEBA brand, Mars, Incorporated, to ensure the future has fish. Since 2008, Mars, has invested more than $10m in research, builds, and community engagement as part of its coral restoration program. More than 285,000 coral fragments have already been planted and 19,000 reef stars have been installed, all using locally sourced materials.
For more information on Hope Reef, visit the Channel that Grows Coral on YouTube, ShebaHopeGrows.com and be sure to follow @ShebaHopeGrows on Instagram and Facebook, and @ShebaBrand on Twitter. Details on the full scale of the global program can be found in the global press release.