Can nursery raised corals restore reefs as well as those grown offshore? NOAA is sponsoring the National Coral Reef Institute to compare the growth rates of each technique.
A dramatic decline of this endangered species threatens the habitat of thousands of invertebrates and fish. Growing coral transplants offshore is an effective method of replenishment, but they're at risk of dying from the same diseases, heat stress, and vessel strikes as a wild reef. Like a bank safeguards money, aquarium-grown corals can be kept safe until the reef is ready for transplants.
This research project off Ft. Lauderdale, Florida has earned the interest of the Miami Herald and other news outlets, and is funded by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Coral Reef Conservation Program.
If the land-grown coral grown in pristine water deal with real ocean conditions, it will be another approach coral reef restoration experts can use.