Our dearest Mallory Raphael was an ocean lover who exercised a strong passion for sustainability and was eager to share knowledge about the sea she loved. Although she was always an avid swimmer as a child, it was not until a trip to Hawaii as an adult that she fell in love with diving and the coral reefs.
She brought a brilliant and inspiring energy to every project she embarked on, most notably BREEF’s Bahamas Environmental Scholars (BESS) programme and the BREEF Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden at Clifton Heritage Park.
Mallory was initially hired to assist in building the Sculpture Garden, which is the largest underwater sculpture garden in the world. However, once the project was completed she was immediately hired as the Research and Environmental Education Officer.
During her time coordinating the BESS programme, she mentored hundreds of students in marine science and sustainability, many of whom are now practicing environmentalists and marine scientists in the field today.
She made it her mission to educate the youth through hands-on demonstrations that helped them to understand and appreciate the Bahamian waters and everything in it. What she found most rewarding was first-time snorkelers experiencing the ocean firsthand. She was quick to provide encouragement and also useful facts about the fish and invertebrates under the sea.
Mermaid Mallory’s selfless dedication to her coral “babies” enabled her to cultivate a flourishing coral garden with hundreds of new outplants, creating the framework and foundation for ongoing sustainable initiatives.
BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert shared: “ Mermaid Mallory shared her love of the ocean with everyone she met. She was a true ocean advocate.”
Her BREEF family will miss her greatly.
We invite you to share your memories of Mallory in the comments.