Help us design the reef-saving Coral Trees™ of the future and WIN a state-of-the-art aquarium for your school!

The Coral Restoration Foundation™ Plastic-Free Tree Design Challenge is a design competition open to all students in Florida, from elementary through high school, to design an environmentally-friendly version of the Coral Restoration Foundation's™ Coral Trees™.


The winning class will be awarded a cutting-edge educational aquarium for their school!



We will be announcing the winners of the Plastic-Free Tree design Challenge on March 22nd. 




The 24" tall fish tank might have two shallow piles of rock featuring St. Thomas mushroom corals, condylactis anemones, and photosynthetic gorgonians.

balloonfish, queen angelfish, royal gramma, and two neon gobies could also inhabit this area.




The middle 30" tall coral tank will house a mini version of the winning Plastic-Free Tree that the students have designed! It will be hung with fragments of Acropora (staghorn) coral.


It will also include staghorn coral mother colonies on live rock pillars, along with trochus snails, blue-legged hermit crabs, fighting conch, coral banded shrimp, and a Caribbean blue tang will inhabit this area.



The 12" tall touch tank would house aquatic life such as a walking batfish, oyster toadfish, sea biscuit, sand sifting starfish, conical starfish, purple variegated urchin, brittle starfish, and lined hermit crabs.



Florida is home to one of the most unique ecosystems in the world

and the Healthy Aquatics Marine Institute can’t wait to highlight this through their curriculum that will accompany the Think Tank.


Students will not only learn how to care for the tanks but also how coral reef systems work with the marine life that lives therein. The lessons will have a 5 E-learning perspective and follow NOAA educational initiatives.  The system will act as an educational springboard for students to move from becoming aware of  Florida marine life to grasping what it means to be

better stewards of the oceans at large.


Coral Restoration Foundation™ LEARNING LABS

Download the Project-Based Learning Labs that support the Plastic-Free Tree Design Challenge.


Just click the pages below!




5 Gyres is a non-profit whose mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure. Their vision is a world free of plastic pollution! 


  Catch the Wave is their educational curriculum designed to scientifically engage middle and high school students in their communities through the lens of plastic pollution. Whether by the ocean or in the middle of the country, our single-use plastic trash ends up polluting our waterways, at great expense to our environment and ourselves.


Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, the lessons cover a variety of science subjects through the lens of plastic pollution, including: plastic pollution sources and solutions, food chains, body systems, waste management, cause and effect, human impact, identifying plastics, watersheds, the water cycle, understanding currents, and packaging engineering solutions.  Each lesson helps students understand the scope of the plastic pollution problem, and encourages them to work together to critically think about and execute viable solutions to help us realize our vision of a world free of plastic pollution! 


They have created a presentation that introduces the issue with powerful visuals and shocking statistics, and provides some empowering options for taking action!


Click HERE to download the presentation.



Healthy Aquatics Marine Institute is a nonprofit on a mission of coral reef conservation through education, research, and restoration. Healthy Aquatics recognizes the necessity of developing knowledge, critical thinking, and decision-making skills for the next generation of action-driven stewards.


Through 5E cross-curriculum developed by marine biologists and educators, the next generation will be ready to restore our Florida Reef Tract to a healthy coral reef. With educational offerings and internships that promote awareness from kindergarten to graduate level, they are advancing stewards at every continuum.


Healthy Aquatics Marine Institute seeks to promote awareness and advance stewardship for our oceans in a variety of ways.  They partner with schools offering marine science programming to supplement learning from kindergarten through high school. Their traveling education programs will visit both youth and adult sites to offer a variety of marine interactions, often highlighting an onsite touch tank. In their West Palm Beach-based facility HAMI they offer field trips, birthday parties, and will schedule Eco-Experiences snorkeling, or kayaking with marine biologists to become better educated with coral systems and the life that thrives there. 

Click HERE to find out more about the Healthy Aquatics Marine Institute's educational programs. 



logo no tag line.png

©2020 by Coral Restoration Foundation™


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

Guidestar Platinum Seal