A coral restoration effort off the coast of the Caribbean island of Curacao celebrated his first birthday last week.
The effort started in May 2015 when the Curacao Coral Restoration Foundationthe founders suspended 400 coral fragments from 10 corals “trees.”
This Coral nursery, made of PVC pipe, is currently rooted off the coast of Oceanic Encounters Diving and Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao. Trees provide a safe and nurturing environment for different species of coral, including Staghorn and Elkhorn coral.
Under favorable conditions, these two species of coral are able to grow and reproduce by fragmentation, then attach to the rock and then germinate a new colony. Once the coral is strong enough, it can be transplanted to a nearby reef.
In its first year, CRFC staff installed 10 new trees with the help of volunteers, local schools and tourists. The nursery grew to contain 1,250 corals, with the largest fragment of staghorn growing from a first 5cm / 2inch To 263 cm / 8.6 feet.
With such significant coral growth, the team felt that the corals were ready to be transplanted to restore the reefs of Curacao.
Last month, to celebrate the first anniversary, the CRFC the staff invited the founders of the organization, Ken and Denise Nédimyer, to join their efforts.
Between May 25 and May 27, 360 corals were replanted between the Tugboat, Sweet Bottom and the domestic reefs of Lions Diving and Solar landscape resorts.
CRFC Project Manager Pol Bosch noted:
“What an incredible year! It’s a great feeling to give back to our delicate marine environment and to realize that together we can make a difference. The health of our nurseries is extraordinary, and I sincerely believe that we will be able to explore over 2,000 corals in our second year.
In addition to corporate sponsorship, the organization continually needs volunteers to help with the maintenance and regular care of the nursery. For donations and more information, visit restorationcorailcuracao.org or send an e-mail to [email protected].