The Issue: Coral Reef Ecosystems Face Growing Threats
Coral reefs are essentially the rainforests of the ocean—they house about a quarter of the ocean’s total life in a small space. And like the rainforest, live coral faces increasing threats from people, including pollution, rising water temperatures, and destructive fishing. As the threats grow, the coral ecosystems have begun to disappear; staghorn and elkhorn coral, two major coral types, have declined 98% and 90% respectively in the last 30 years. The only way to stop the threat to marine life, the greater food chain, and local economies is to reverse these actions and restore the coral habitats.
The Campaign: Outplanting Coral on a Threatened Reef
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Coral Restoration Foundation to revive threatened coral ecosystems. For every $100 raised, Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) can outplant one piece of coral in a reef. The CRF team accomplishes this task by growing coral in the underwater Tavernier Coral Nursery. Once branches are ready to be moved, they pluck them from the floating forest, prepare them for outplanting, and take them to damaged coral reefs in the Florida Keys. The divers then gear up and plant 100 corals at a time in places it once grew, anchoring the fresh coral to the reef with marine epoxy. Over time, it will fuse together and form a healthier habitat for tropical fish.
For every cluster of staghorn coral outplanted with donations from this Grassroots campaign, CRF will provide an ID tag denoting the sponsorship of that cluster, pictures of the restoration site, and a short summary of the restoration process and the location of the reef where the restoration took place.
Click here to watch an exclusive video of the CRF team in action.
Coral Restoration Foundation
The Coral Restoration Foundation takes an active approach to restoring coral reefs. Its teams grow and plant new coral clusters in reefs near the Florida Keys and in tropical water around Colombia and Bonaire. Since it started restoring reefs in 2003, the team has outplanted more than 10,000 corals in local reefs with an 80% survival rate. They focus on two varieties of threatened coral—staghorn and elkhorn—which then provide shelter for a variety of fish species and preserve a delicate ecosystem.