Denis’s life calling was revealed to him when he led a group of Bora Bora junior high school students on a field trip, on which they viewed a pristine coral colony. Returning just days later, he found that the coral had been destroyed by the anchors of small boats. And he decided to do something about it.
A Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of Aix-Marseille, Denis had been working as a dive instructor on Bora Bora for three years, but now he had found something even more rewarding than introducing visitors to the wonders of the deep. In 1997, he created Espace Bleu, an organization that works to increase awareness of environmental issues, conduct research on coral reefs, and create and develop fish and corals nurseries in hotels and resorts. Working with three hotels in Bora Bora, he has been serving as a “landscape scientist” to create artificial reefs in the shallow lagoon beneath the hotels’ overwater bungalows. Espace Bleu also works with “Nature Eveil Bora Bora” (Nature Awareness Bora Bora), an organization based in Bora Bora that teaches young Polynesian about their magical environment.While still based in Bora Bora, Espace Bleu has also expanded to Moorea, Taha’a, and Huahine, and is supported by the governments of France and French Polynesia, especially on projects that involve studies of the reefs and their environment.
Join Denis on select sailings of the m/s Paul Gauguin for his special presentation on “Corals in Peril: What Solutions Are There in French Polynesia?"