Advancements and Innovations in Coral Restoration
In 2017, our coral restoration work focused on improving coral reef biodiversity by focusing on better understanding the ecological and environmental factors which improve coral nursery resistance to storms and coral survival in general. Researchers also expanded the nursery to include a sponge/coral garden, where they will observe the impact of water filtration by the sponges on coral growth. Scientists have also begun this season’s outplanting of the staghorn coral colonies onto the wild reef. The coral will be outplanted in differing density arrangements to determine what is most advantageous to long-term survivorship. Also, in December, scientists from the University of Florida assisted with nursery maintenance and coral outplanting while also collecting samples from the coral as part of a new microbiome research project. We continue to investigate novel ways to improve coral restoration methods.