RAISING THE REEF: BEHIND THE SCENES
If you are new here, you’ll be excited to learn that Coral Restoration Foundation™ invented the Coral Tree™. A device now widely used among coral restoration practitioners and credited as one of the most effective tools for coral propagation and care.
©Coral Restoration Foundation™
The Coral Tree™ functions by suspending corals from PVC pipes using fishing line, also known as monofilament. The suspended corals have water flow across all areas of the colony meaning they have access to more nutrients. They are also able to grow in all directions instead of having to form a base and grow in only ¾ of their potential grown pattern. This means that corals raised on our coral trees grow up to 4 times as fast as they would using a base. They can be reef-ready, as we say in the biz, in as little as 6-9 months!
Coral Trees™ seen from above the water in Key Largo, Florida ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Today Coral Restoration Foundation™ cares for 7 coral nurseries home to 740 Coral Trees™, capable of producing over 40,000 reef ready corals in a single year! Just think about the amount of work behind the scenes that goes into maintaining this. Cleaning trees that are in the water, replacing and recycling old trees, and of course suspending the corals themselves
with monofilament! Just last week some of our team put their noses to the grindstone and pre-made 1000 monofilament loops in just under 2 hours. 1000 loops means 1000 new coral fragments ready to grow!
The massive scale at which CRF™ operates relies on the ability of our team to value all aspects of our work. Building Coral Trees™ and tying mono loops is a standard daily task for all our restoration divers. When they are not on the water returning corals to the wild, they are working hard to make sure the corals we care for have a Tree™ to live in until their turn comes to make the journey to the reef!
CORAL RESTORATION FOUNDATION™ WILL HOST REEF FUTURES 2021!
We are pleased to once again be the local host of the 2021 Reef Futures symposium, scheduled to take place in Key Largo, FL December 12th-17th. Registration for this one-of-a-kind conference is now open. Early Bird Special registration closes September 15th, don't miss your chance to sign up!
This event is presented by the Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC) and co-hosted by Coral Restoration Foundation™. The CRC is a community comprised of scientists, managers, and coral restoration practitioners dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to survive the 21st century and beyond.
Reef Futures is the only symposium solely dedicated to active coral restoration interventions. The conference brings together individuals from around the world to share the latest techniques, technologies, and science to scale-up the impact and success of coral reef restoration efforts. This is a fresh approach to inspire hope for the future of coral reefs. Restoration practitioners, researchers, students, and anyone involved in coral restoration activities from various backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged share their stories and passion for coral reef restoration. The first Reef Futures symposium in 2018 featured over 550 attendees from almost 40 countries!
The five major themes of Reef Futures 2021 are:
Holistic approach to coral reef restoration
Approaches to improve the efficiency of reef restoration
Ramping up larval propagation to enhance restoration efforts
Advancing population-management interventions
Building human capacity for expanding the global reach of coral reef restoration efforts
Reef Futures is anticipated to be an in-person event. Furthermore, abstract submissions for Reef Futures 2021 are open until July 30th! Submissions for talks, posters, and workshops from a variety of backgrounds and even outside of traditional coral reef science (e.g. engineering, robotics, communications, community engagement, etc.) are encouraged!
RESOURCES FOR YOU
Our Coralpalooza™ Digital 2021 platform is still open! Check out all of our exclusive content before it's gone!
"Bringing It Back" Editorial Interns
Jeremy Jeremy is from Chicago, Illinois and is excited to continue to give back to the coral reefs here on the Florida Reef Tract! He is looking forward to continuing to expand his restoration skills and share what he has learned through educational trainings with all the new interns for what should be an incredibly busy and productive summer of outplanting and coral restoration. He is also planning on spearheading a Boulder Coral Gene Bank project in our Tavernier Nursery along with another intern with the support of the Restoration Staff. He is also looking forward to leading dive trips this summer and taking charge of the restoration efforts on land as well as underwater.
Sami is from Cincinnati, Ohio and has loved seeing how CRF’s™ mission has inspired others to care about our oceans. Over the past eight months, she has enjoyed participating in outreach events, improving her scientific diving skills, and gaining confidence working on boats. This summer, Sami is excited to lead new interns in and out of the water and gain more knowledge about restoration efforts at CRF™. Sami will be working to build a permitting and restoration goals tracker to help paint the big picture of CRFs ever expanding restoration plans.
Coral Chronicles Editorial Intern
Tessa Markham is a recent graduate of Skidmore College, with a BA in English and Environmental Studies. She grew up in Wilton, in southwestern Connecticut, but spent her summers growing up either hiking and camping in the woods or swimming and sailing on the water. She has always been passionate about climate change and conservation. Diving for the first time in 2014 while taking a marine conservation course in the Caribbean leeward islands, she quickly amassed dives and got her PADI Instructor certification just three years later. Just after completing her instructor training, she spent nearly a month on the Yucatan
Peninsula conducting research on their reefs, looking at the ratio of soft versus stony coral death. She later channeled her distress at the degradation of the reefs to write a short story about coral bleaching, which was published in Volume 5 of the Oakland Arts Review in 2020. Her capstone thesis built on this theme and she wrote a collection of four creative short stories that detail and exemplify climate change-induced environmental damage through a narrative lens. She aims to combine her degrees and experiences to make a career in science communications, making research and conservation accessible to everybody.
Madalen Howard is CRF's Marketing Associate. Madalen comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, and communications.
Madalen spent the last 4 years as a Field Instructor and Social Media Strategist for MarineLab Environmental Education Center. Here she was able to study and teach marine ecology, while snorkeling through mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs every day. While at MarineLab she combined her education and research background, entered the world of communications, and developed MarineLab’s social media department from the ground up.
Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature. With CRF™, she is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration, creating inclusive pathways to scientific discovery.