CORAL RESTORATION PROGRAM

1/8

In February of 2016, our facility hosted the first coral restoration workshop on Roatán. The workshop introduced a small team of local biologists and conservation managers to coral nursery methodology and active restoration solutions. RIMS has partnered with the Roatán Marine Park, the Bay Islands Conservation Association and the ICF to establish the first coral nursery program in the Bay Islands. One of the three nursery sites selected for this project is directly in front of our facility which provides us with direct and easy access for maintenance and oversight.

The coral nursery project’s goal is to enhance local populations of the once-dominant staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata). Threats such as disease, hurricanes, and climate change have reduced the abundance of these species throughout the Caribbean by almost 90% over the past few decades. Branching corals are crucial to reef structure and create important habitat for fish and invertebrates. Coral nurseries are an active method of restoration that will help reestablish populations of staghorn coral and other threatened coral species

Student groups will have opportunities to assist in various aspects of our nursery program including:

Help and hope for Roatan's reefs

nursery maintenance.jpg

Maintenance

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

DSC09787.JPG

Fragging new genotypes to expand nursery

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

DSC09771.JPG

Outplanting

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

IMG_5647.JPG
IMG_4943.JPG

What is Coral Gardening?

Fragments are collected from coral colonies, or by harvesting already broken 'fragments of opportunity'

Fragments of genetically diverse corals are attached to a PVC structure in our nursery called a "coral tree"

In 9-12 months corals in our nursery reach a size that no allows for us to take clippings of to bring back to the reef.

Outplanting of genetically diverse corals on to the reef

Outplanted colonies quickly become part of the reef and in several years will be sexually mature and able to help enhance coral diversity