Ocean Gardener Initiative

Here at 3W Dive, we’ve formed a very special partnership with Ocean Gardener, a team of marine biologists, divers and coral farmers dedicated to teaching people about the beautiful yet vulnerable coral reefs that live and thrive below the ocean’s surface.

At 3W Dive, we understand that without our precious coral reefs, the diving world we know and love would be non-existent. And while many divers are extremely knowledgeable around the act of diving itself and even identifying fish, many are unaware of the foundations of a coral reef ecosystem, how to identify coral species, and the potential dangers corals can face from ongoing human contact.

A complex living network, this critical habitat provides food and shelter for creatures great, minuscule and everything in between. Up to 25% of all marine species make their home in coral reefs. Not to mention the sublime beauty they offer that we as divers are lucky enough to be able to explore! Coral colonies are the foundation of these reefs and the survival of our oceans.

Although to many divers, corals are just colourful underwater plants, they are living, extremely vulnerable animals. The role these living, breathing organisms play is one of the most crucial and one that the entire reef’s survival is based upon. Without corals, a reef would not exist. As divers that are exposed continuously to coral reefs, we must be well educated to ensure their survival and all of the incredible life they support.


Sustainable Coral Farming is the practice of farming using the principle of ecology, the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment.

It helps coastal communities receive income for maintaining and gardening the ocean the same way they do on land. Part of the coral harvested is used to restore other parts of the reef.

Impact: We give a livelihood to thousands of coastal families around the countries, bringing them income while preserving and restoring their reefs. We planted tens of thousands of corals, and want to level up the speed of restoration by using all the different restoration methods adapted to the different species of corals.


Ocean Gardener is an NGO founded in 2016 by Vincent Chalias and Nicole Helgason, and is dedicated to coral reef education. It has been funded over the desire to use our 20 years experience in Coral Farming, in Indonesia, to use these coral farms for education purpose. At the end of the last century, we created the first commercial coral mariculture farms in Indonesia, to allow the coastal community living out of their reefs.
Visit Ocean Gardeners website for more information on all their restoration activities.


Following the 1997-1998 economic crisis, and the considerable loss of income of most peoples in Indonesia and their coastal communities. Coming with a marine aquaculture background, Vincent Chalias saw in the wild live coral collection for aquarium an opportunity to transform this industry into a farm-based and give the coastal community another form of income.

He came up with the idea to mariculture these corals, so they didn’t need to be taken from the reef anymore. And we could also use these produced corals to replant and restore the damaged reefs.

He found in Mr Manumudhita a great partner and inspiration. Mr Manumudhita, after working many years as the director of the Fisheries Department, he retired and became the head of the Bali Fishermen associations, defending the livelihood of fishermen all over the country.

The first trial was made in Nusa Dua in 2000 as the licensing and legal aspect was overcome, we quickly installed new farms in North-west Bali, and moved away from resort rich area to less developed place such as Serangan.


Nicole Helgason is a coral educator dedicated to teaching people about coral diversity. She started scuba diving in 2006, and as a stroke of luck or destiny her very first dive was at a coral restoration project. Being an avid gardener on land before learning to dive she became obsessed with the idea that you could grow corals underwater just like a garden. After this first dive she knew that is what she needed to do with her life.

Nicole started working as a dive professional in 2007 and being in love with coral she continued to notice recreational and professional divers pay very little attention to coral diversity. After years of diving and searching for information online about coral diversity she founded the website as an outlet for scuba divers to seek advice and reference coral diversity in a fun engaging format.

“My first dive was in 2006. I was scared at first, but then I never looked back. By the next year, I became a certified PADI dive instructor and have been working in the dive industry ever since.”

She has written a Guide to Caribbean Corals and currently working on a Guide for Indo-Pacific Corals. Nicole can be seen giving presentations at conference and dive centers around the world about her coral identification guides.


Ocean Gardener is dedicated to teaching people about corals and focused on ecosystem restoration. With more than two decades of experience growing corals in Indonesia, our approach takes into consideration the growth and care requirements of every coral species we work with.

We believe coral education is the most crucial step before embarking on any reef rehabilitation activities to ensure the long term success and growth of not only the corals but the complete reef ecosystem.


The Ocean Gardener Coral Diver Course is a three-day course where you will learn about the basics of coral biology, and how to identify the six most common coral growth forms. During this dive, you will also learn how to spot the difference between hard and soft corals.

After learning to spot coral growth forms, you will then learn to identify the most common coral genus, including five small polyp corals, five massive polyp corals, and five soft corals. Then once you’ve mastered these coral spotting skills, you will learn about coral farming you’ll be introduced to coral restoration, visit a coral farm and plant you own coral fragment to become a certified Ocean Gardener!

The Coral Diver course will teach you how to identify different types of corals, which will enrich your diving experience. The Ocean Gardener Coral Diver is a three-day certification course designed to teach you to determine the most common coral genus found thought the Indo-Pacific.

This is an incredible program for anyone who has an interest in marine biology, wants to improve their knowledge of corals or just want to make five stunning dives and learn more about what they see underwater.

Once certified Ocean Gardener Coral Divers will be able to visit any Ocean Gardener projects and participate in ongoing Ocean Gardener coral restoration activities.

(3 DAYS)

5 Ocean Dives
Ocean Gardener Professional Instruction
Official Ocean Gardener Online Certification
Recognition on
Set of 3 Coral identification slates

3 Academic Sessions (Video/Classroom)
Academic Session 1 – Discover Coral Diving (Part 1-4)
Academic Session 2 – Corals Identification (3 Video SPS,LPS,Soft)
Academic Session 3 – Coral Fragmenting Techniques
Six knowledge reviews
One final exam

Dive 1 – Discover Coral Diving, exploration general reef awareness, identifying growth forms

Dive 2 – 5x SPS Coral Identification

Dive 3 – 5x LPS Coral Identification

Dive 4 – 5x Soft Coral Identification at Batas Kota Natural Reef Side

Dive 5 – Coral fragmentation, and coral farm maintenance Coral fragmenting technique – get to fragment corals underwater and participate with managers to plant on artificial frames

As an Ocean Gardener Divemaster Intern you will dive even further into coral restoration and the different techniques we are using it Gili Air. You will help in monitoring the ongoing coral restoration project. Help fragment and care for corals at the Ocean Gardener Nursery.

Price: 5 750 000 IDR