Sam Tiecher Coral Farmer | Forbes 30 Under 30 | Echoing Green Fellow
Sam Tiecher, ’12 BA and ’15 MEM, has become a leading media spokesperson from the Bahamas on the effects of Hurricane Dorian. He describes what it has been like to experience Hurricane Dorian from his home in Freeport, his concerns for the people in the Bahamas, and the devastation to the island and coral reefs in this recent CNN video.
Coral reefs protect coastal areas during hurricanes, acting as a natural sea wall. Reefs, rich in biodiversity, are vital to the Bahama’s fisheries economy, provide enormous biological diversity, create eco-tourism opportunities, sustain critical fisheries, and shelter coastlines from storm surge. According to Sam, about 80% of the reefs are dead in the Bahamas and Caribbean. These reefs will need rebuilding after Dorian. Sam’s company, Coral Vita, the world’s first commercial land-based coral farm in the Bahamas, grows corals to restore dying reefs. Through assisted evolution, they will enhance the resiliency of corals to help them adapt more quickly to warming and acidifying oceans that threaten coral health.
At Yale Sam concentrated in Environmental Sustainability and was in the five-year program at F&ES. He spent his gap year on the small island of Mauritius off the coast of Africa through Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) Africa, an educational and environmental organization founded by Vedant Seeam ’11. There, he helped launch a reef restoration project in partnership with the Mauritius Oceanography Institute with funding from the United Nations. He also interned for the Council on Environmental Quality Climate Preparedness Team in Washington DC.
Sam is interested in integrating sustainability, innovation, and climate change mitigation & adaptation as strategic imperatives for business and policy. Learn more about his vision for protecting global coral reefs and the communities they sustain in this recent Fast Company article about his company.