The Palau International Coral Reef Center continues to monitor 240 coral substrates that have been transplanted in an area near Ngerchong Island, PICRC said in a press release.
The area is part of a pilot program to help restore severely damaged coral. A survey conducted in December 2018 showed that the coral system affected by Typhoon Bopha in 2012 had 10% of its area covered and 44% with only bare substrate.
âA high density of coral recruits indicated that the reef had started to recover; however, it is a slow process and can take decades, âPICRC said in the press release.
Another visit was made just before the outplant.
âThe coral reef has recovered significantly since the baseline survey in 2018 and coral cover has visibly increased,â officials said. “We are very pleased to see this natural increase in coral cover at a site damaged by a typhoon.”
To help with this growth, the coral outplant was placed in a shallow area with less coral cover.
On June 15 and 16, PICRC aquarist McGee Mereb and Eveline van der Steeg, a doctoral student. Newcastle University’s CoralAsssist Lab candidate, joined the Koror State Rangers to plant corals at Ngerchong Inside.
The PICRC continues to monitor the site but is planning further activities with the Koror State Government, which oversees Ngerchong Island and surrounding waters, as well as with other Palau governments as the project to coral rehabilitation continues to develop.