Hexbyte – News – Science/Nature | Saving Coral Reefs

Hexbyte – News – Science/Nature |


((Banner: Preserving the sea))

Steve Baragona))

((Adapted by:
Philip Alexiou))

Miami, Florida))

Restoring reefs with corals adapted to warming oceans))

((Courtesy Chyron:
Dalton Hesley, University of Miami))

((Popup Banner:
Off the coast of Miami, divers stake coral twigs and other corals to the ocean bottom))


We can take a large boulder coral, fragment it into a lot of small, coin-sized pieces, increase their growth and then fuse them back together to create a larger coral colony than we started with in a fraction of the time. It’s called the coral gardening process. It’s a great simple, effective way to create a lot of coral from small amounts initially. Coral is important for a number of different reasons. First and foremost, it protects our communities. It provides us with food and shelter and it’s the main reef building structure that marine organisms rely on for their habitat, their livelihood.

You could cut this and put it on a paired thing. Just recently, these events, these natural (climate change-induced) coral bleaching events, are becoming more and more common, more and more severe. And we just lost over the last couple of years, almost 50 percent of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef for example, as a result of the worldwide spread of coral bleaching. We’re interested in trying to leverage this great effort to restore reefs using these coral species by actually trying to figure out if there’s a way that we can make them more heat tolerant, more stress tolerant. So that instead of planting out the next set of coral victims, we’re actually planting out corals that we think are going to be more heat-tolerant in the future. Despite having been really severely bleached just a couple months ago, they’ve actually recovered really well. And you can see that they’ve started to grow new branches. Where you see that sort of growing white tip is active calcification, kind of shooting forward and then the algae, which is this yellowish, brown color slowly kind of catching up from the rest of the colony. It’s a question of communicating what we’ve lost but also communicating what we still have to lose and trying some of these novel methodologies to try to intervene and boost the chances of survival for these ecosystems.

((Courtesy Chyron: Dalton Hesley, University of Miami))


To date, we’ve out planted over 11-thousand corals back onto local reefs, each site varying from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand.

((Courtesy Chyron: Christine Da Silva, University of Miami))


We can’t rebuild every reef around the globe. So, that’s why education is the second biggest part of our program and our efforts.


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