Reefiera Maya

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  • €1,353
  • €800

Riviera Maya

Located on the coast of Mexico, Riviera Maya is surrounded by the Mesoamerican coral reef. This reef is the second largest coral reef in the world. 25% of all marine species are found in coral reefs and these are also the best wave barriers, dissipating up to 97% of wave energy before the waves reach the beach. 

However, human activity and climate change are endangering this reef. The constantly rising water temperatures and human waste are causing more and more corals to perish. If this problem is not addressed, there is a chance that all corals will be gone by 2050. This has a huge effect on underwater life; about 25% of marine life is at risk of extinction. 

These developments threaten not only life underwater, but also life on land. All life above water is as dependent on the underwater ecosystem as vice versa.


Disappearance of the coast

The coral reefs in the Riviera Maya also provide nearly two million Mexicans with income, food, tourism and protection against extreme waves. As coral reefs become more degraded and natural barriers disappear, erosion is causing beaches to be swept away. The land becomes vulnerable to destruction by large waves. Restoration of coral reefs is critical to coastal protection.


Our goal

We are Arend, David, Evie, Henrik and Sofie, five students from TU Delft. For the minor International Entrepreneurship & Development we will spend 3 months helping to restore coral reefs and protect the coast from the waves in Mexico. We are doing this together with Reefy. A startup that is designing the first modular artificial reef with a dual purpose: stable enough to stop waves for coastal protection, and it also provides a new and complex habitat for sea life. We are now in the Riviera Maya, collaborating with Reefy, to conduct research on: 

  1. The optimal strategy for large-scale reef restoration and coastal protection; 
  2. Currently used breakwaters and artificial reef structures;
  3. Innovative materials for breakwaters that stimulate coral growth.

With the help of your donation, we can learn about this problem by conducting diving research on artificial reefs and materials that stimulate coral growth. Thus, by implementing Reefy's breakwaters, Mexico and the rest of the world can be protected from future coastal erosion while also stimulating coral formation.

The first 800 euros that are donated will be doubled by Reefy, so finish your year on a good note and help us reach our goal of 2023 euros!

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact us!


Instagram: @reefieramaya

Whatsapp: +52 998 197 4990


Hi! We are of five students from the TU Delft and we are the Reefiera Maya team.



Hi, My name is Arend (21 years old). I’m in my last year of the Bachelor Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management. That’s a broad study from itself, but because my divergent interest, I like to make it even broader. That’s why earlier I followed a minor Journalism and this year I decide to join this project.
My first experience with coral was years ago during a holiday at Curaçao. As impressed by the underwater life then as I was then, I’m sad now by seeing the bleaching of coral during the past years. That’s why I’m happy to contribute to the restoration of coral with this project.




My name is David and I am a Computer Science student at TU Delft, most passionate about algorithm design and computational intelligence. That being said, I recently felt that I could put my problem solving skills to use in areas which are much more impactful than programming. Combining this desire with my love for travelling and learning about wildlife, I realized that only this project perfectly matches my interests. I am positive that my team and I will be able to bring positive change in the field of reef and coast protection.




Hi, I am Evie and I am in my final year of my Bachelor Life Science & Technology. I've already gained some expertise in the field of maritime biology as a result of my studies. I want to put this information to use and expand it on a biological and scientific level by helping to improve the reefs and marine habitats in the Mexican oceans. This is an incredible opportunity for me to enhance my own talents while simultaneously attempting to make the world a better place.




Hello! My name is Henrik and I am 20 years old. I am currently finishing the last year of my systems engineering, policy analysis and management bachelor. After 2 years of gaining theoretical knowledge I want to implement this in a sustainable way and this project is a perfect fit. The combination of social skills and technical knowledge are very close to my interests. This can be seen in the project because we need to work together with the local people to implement the technical solutions. With this project i hope to protect one of the most beautiful regions on earth and help restore it the its former state.




Hi! My name is Sofie, I’m 22 years old and I’m an Industrial Design Engineering student from Delft University of Technology.
I was raised in a sailing family. I have always admired nature from above water, but never from underwater. With all the developments concerning the decline of coral reefs, I became interested about life underwater. Having witnessed the bleaching of corals myself, I would like to participate in supporting nature by carrying out this project.
My strengths include interviewing stakeholders and designing. I will apply my strengths to contribute to this project.

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Project completed

21-02-2023 | 21:00 We are back in the Netherlands. At the end of last month, we dived to our experiment to monitor it for the first time. Together with all the interviews we conducted and the research we did on existing technologies in the area, we made a final report with possible future scenario’s for Reefy. Our project is now complete, but the research continues. Reefy, together with UNAM, the university in Mexico, can continue the experiment we set up to discover what kind of material is best for coral growth. Thanks to all our donators, without you this would not have been possible! Curious about what we've done and what it looked like? Watch our video:
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