Corals of Opportunity
“Corals of Opportunity” is the name given to the corals gathered for the trees. They are corals that have broken or fragmented naturally due to storm and wave activity. One hundred pieces were attached to each tree during the initial gathering, and after nine months, 95% of the 200 colonies survived and more than tripled in size with no signs of disease or bleaching in any of the fragments.
Out-planting involves taking newly created fragments from our nursery-reared corals and returning them back to the reef. The mother colonies will stay on the tree to continue to grow and offer a continuous source of fragments to “re-seed” the reef.
As of now, we’ve deployed multiple coral “trees” at our location. The trees are constructed from PVC pipes to create branching structures to which the coral fragments are attached.
Because the trees are elevated, they protect the corals from predatory organisms and sedimentation. Scheduled maintenance also helps to alleviate another stress of algal overgrowth.
This project aims to be completely self-sufficient by utilizing the visiting university groups and volunteer recreational diving community. By offering lectures and training to these groups, we can secure the human resources and funding needed to help clean and maintain the structures while replenishing local populations of critically important coral species.