ABOUT US

 

The Coral Restoration Foundation™ is the largest coral REEF restoration organization in the world.

 

We were founded in response to

the wide-spread loss of the dominant coral species on the Florida Reef Tract.

 

The Coral Restoration Foundation™ is headquartered in Key Largo, Florida.

THE FLORIDA REEF TRACT

The third largest barrier reef in the world 

CRISIS

Reef loss on a massive scale

RESPONSE

Active reef restoration 

OUR ORIGINS

The story of Coral Restoration Foundation™ begins with Ken Nedimyer, a commercial fish collector and live rock farmer who, as a longtime resident of the Florida Keys, had seen, first-hand, the decline of the local reefs through the decades. 

In a fortuitous turn of events, several colonies of critically-endangered staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) settled onto Nedimyer’s live rock farm off the coast of Tavernier, Florida in the late 1990s.

As the colonies began to grow, Nedimyer saw the potential for an aggressive new type of marine conservation that not only protected threatened reef habitats but that also actively restored them.

By 2007, Nedimyer had already demonstrated that his staghorn coral could be grown rapidly and then “outplanted” to the reef.

 

Enlisting his family and a small, dedicated staff, Nedimyer founded CRF™ in 2007 and began working to build up stock of staghorn and elkhorn (Acropora palmata) coral. 

 

Drawing on Nedimyer’s experience in the aquarium industry and coral research from around the world, CRF™ started to experiment with different methods for growing coral in offshore, in-situ nurseries.

 

Disk nurseries, line nurseries, and several forms of tree nurseries were tried before the current tree structure was invented.

 

Thanks to permits obtained from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, CRF was also able to collect clippings and broken fragments of coral from the remaining wild populations of staghorn and elkhorn in south Florida.

 

Building such a genetically diverse portfolio of coral would prove to be critical for CRF’s™ current restoration work, which aims to restore the genetic diversity of wild coral populations rather than rely only on corals with perceived – but scientifically unproven – strengths.

 

For his work with CRF™, Nedimyer has been given the Wyland ICON Award and named a CNN Hero and a Disney Worldwide Conservation Hero.

 ANNUAL REPORTS

Read or download our annual reports from the last three years. Just click on the covers!

MEET THE TEAM

STAFF

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DIVE SAFETY BOARD

We are a small, dynamic group of people with a fierce passion for marine conservation.

 

Our specialized backgrounds and diverse experiences all contribute to Coral Restoration Foundation’s™ professional environment of cooperation, determination, and innovation.

Scott Winters

CEO

Scott is a serial entrepreneur of 15 years following a career as an academic scientist. His ventures have ranged from entertainment, through consumer goods to healthcare. Highlights of his career include the development of the world’s most technologically advanced pediatric cancer center. He has served on the board of directors for multiple entrepreneurial ventures as well as international non-profits. Throughout his career he has published 2 books, over 50 technical articles and popular papers, and amassed over 750 hours of public speaking.

 

Scott received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in two simultaneous programs (Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity and BioInformatics and Computational Biology), received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business, and is Phi Beta Kappa. Scott’s passion for ocean conservation brought him to the Florida Keys to inspire others to help save our ocean.

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Scott Winters

CEO

David Splitt

VICE CHAIRMAN

Retired Legal Counsel Xerox Corporation

David Wing

CHAIRMAN

Patti Kirk Gross

SECRETARY

Stephen Frink

DIRECTOR

Sascha Simon

DIRECTOR

Steven Miller

DIRECTOR

DIVE SAFETY BOARD

Joseph Dituri, Ph.D.

  • CDR, U.S. Navy Saturation Diving Officer (ret)

  • Scientific Diving Instructor Trainer

  • Hyperbaric physician instructor 

Patti Gross DIVE SAFETY OFFICER

  • Scientific Diver

  • Master Scuba Instructor: PADI/SSI

  • DAN First Aid/CPR/O2 Provider Instructor

Jessica Levy

  • Scientific Diver

  • Divemaster

  • CRF Reef Restoration Program Manager

James Murray CHAIRMAN

  • Master Scuba Diver / Scuba Instructor Trainer DSO Scientific Diver –  AAUS/USGS

  • Owner – Coral Edge Adventures

David Splitt

  • Divemaster

  • Retired Senior Legal Counsel/Risk Manager Xerox Corporation

Paul Washington

  • Scientific Diver

  • Master Scuba Instructor

  • President, National Association of Black SCUBA Divers (NABS) Regional DSO for NABS

Billy Wise

  • General Manager Rainbow Reef Dive Center

  • PADI Course Director

  • DAN Instructor Trainer

  • Adjunct Professor and Dive  Safety Officer College of the Florida Keys

Shawn Martin, M.Sc 

 

THE CORAL CHRONICLES

Follow our mission as it evolves, with news that comes straight from the heart of the

Coral Restoration Foundation™!

CONTACT US

The blog from the largest reef restoration initiative in the world. 

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©2020 by Coral Restoration Foundation™

Headquarters

89111 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, Florida 33070

 

Exploration Center

5 Seagate Blvd, Key Largo, Florida 33037

(Next to the Pilot House Restaurant & Marina)

(305) 453-7030

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