New effort to restore Curacao’s coral reefs begins in May

A group of private and non-profit organizations will begin setting up a coral restoration effort next month off the coast of the Caribbean island of Curacao.

Diving company Ocean Encountersthe Caribbean Research and Biodiversity Management (CARMABI) non-profit organization and Coral Restoration Foundation will place the first 10 staghorn coral nurseries between May 19-26 on the Stella Maris dive site, outside the breakwaters off the beach of the Marine Aquarium.

Over the past 30 years, the health of the coral reefs off Curaçao has declined.

As a result, the three aforementioned groups established the “Curaçao Reef Restoration Program” and earlier this month signed a memorandum of understanding to officially launch this program on May 19.

The main objective of the program is to bring back populations of shallow water staghorn corals to Curacao, which would not only help to mitigate the possible effects of climate change, but also rejuvenate fisheries and reef biodiversity, as well as to promote diving tourism. It aims to complement the work currently being carried out in the region by the SECORE Foundationanother global non-profit reef conservation organization.

“The significance of the Curacao Reef Restoration Program is that together as a community here on Curacao we will restore our shallow reef system while educating our youth on the importance of protecting and preserving our natural ecosystem. “, according to Jeremiah Peekgeneral manager at Diving Ocean Encounterswhich adds: “I believe programs like this help solidify natural sustainability for future generations.”


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