Coral Restoration Foundation

Plant a coral, Restore a Reef

The Problem

Coral reefs protect coastal areas and are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth, supporting more species proportionately than any other marine environment. And yet, even though they have been one of the most persistent habitats on earth for over 500 million years, the world's shallow water coral reefs are facing possible extinction in the next 80 years, as a direct result of human-induced stressors.

This is the first time in human history that we face the potential collapse of an entire ecosystem.

One example of this dramatic decline can be seen right on Florida's doorstep. The Florida Reef Tract – the third largest barrier reef in the world and the only barrier coral reef in the continental United States – has lost more than 95 percent of its once-dominant reef building corals, staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn (Acropora palmata), since the 1970s.

The Coral Restoration Foundation, based in the Florida Keys, was founded to combat this crisis facing our planet's coral reefs.

The Solution

The Coral Restoration Foundation is an ocean conservation organization working to restore our coral reefs, educating others on the importance of our oceans, and using science to further research and monitoring techniques.

Over the last decade, we have developed a scale-able, science-driven method for “farming" and “outplanting" colonies of staghorn and elkhorn coral, in an effort to bring these species back from the brink of extinction.

Through propagation techniques, tens of thousands of corals are grown and maintained in seven offshore coral tree nurseries before being strategically outplanted on reefs allowing them to continue on a path to natural recovery.

Together with the help of dive programs and volunteers, we outplanted over 13,000 corals back onto the Florida Reef tract in 2017. In 2018, we hope to scale that number up and outplant over 20,000 individual coral fragments back onto Florida’s reefs.

As the most extensive coral restoration effort in the world, we continue to develop innovative techniques to aid global reef restoration efforts; while actively expanding our impact here at home in the Florida Keys.

By growing and outplanting these critically endangered corals, and by sharing our techniques with other groups around the world, we can restore our planet’s coral reefs, helping to reestablish these ecosystems’ natural processes of recovery.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Coral Restoration Foundation

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