On March 9th student divers from the Florida Keys Community College journeyed out to Pickles reef for a full afternoon of coral outplanting. Earlier that day Ken Nedimeyer, Pam Hughes, and Jessica Levy stopped by the Tavernier nursery to collect fragments of Acropora cervicornis (or staghorn coral) for outplanting.
Aboard the Keys Diver II, 11 students from the Applications in Marine Science class taught by Dr. Alex Brylske received a detailed briefing on what they were about to do by CRF interns Lois Hatcher and Kayla Ripple.
Once on site CRF’s Dusky met up with the dive group and after a quick round of introductions it was time to giant stride into the water! Corals were placed in tight clusters and cemented in place with a special epoxy by the FKCC students. Despite a bit of wave action, the divers successfully planted 100 pieces of staghorn coral and were also able to check on the progress of corals that had previously been outplanted in the same area. It was wonderful to see how large our previous outplants were getting and we hope that our new 100 corals enjoy the same success.