With the ever increasing effects of climate change on the world’s seas and oceans, coupled with excessive pollutants and destructive fishing techniques, coral reefs—essential to marine as well as to human life— continues to diminish at an alarming rate. In some instances reefs are, literally, dying out.
With a stated purpose aimed at combating this destructive tendency, The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) runs the world’s largest coral transport operation from their home base in Key Largo, FL. CRF grows two varieties of coral—staghorn and elkhorn—in nurseries located three miles offshore, which are then transplanted onto endangered coral reefs. These particular varieties of coral are important, as they have been such a dominant part of the reef in the Keys, which has been declining steadily since the early 1970s.
Staghorn and elkhorn are also vital components of Caribbean reefs, which scientist believe are, essentially, already dead. Despite this grim prognosis CRF has been replanting thickets of their nursery-grown coral that have begun to spawn again, and under natural conditions.
Healthy and diverse reefs are essential in the preservation of life as we now know it, and CRF is diligently pursuing its stated goals of producing their staghorn and elkhorn coral in the most effective and efficient manner possible so as to, eventually, help combat what is, in essence, a global problem by first restoring local habitats. In some instances CRF is currently replanting second and third generation coral onto reefs.
CRF is a nonprofit conservation organization. For more information on their mission to restore the world’s reefs, contact them at Coral Restoration Foundation, 5 Seagate Blvd. Key Largo FL 33037, or by calling: (303) 767-2133. Visit them on the web at: www.coralrestoration.org.