Coral Nursery Program

Coral Nursery

Outplant Growth

Photos of a few of the outplants that Education Coordinator Jennifer Keck and volunteer students groups have done.

Their growth in a year is pretty impressive, given that most corals grow only 1 cm a year! You can also see with the Elkhorn how they have grown onto the substrate.

Look at the Staghorn growth! You can tell it is the same area from the lettuce coral in the foreground to the left. Cameras were zoomed out to get all the growth into the picture!

If you would like to volunteer in caring for the Coral Trees on your future diving visit to Anthony’s Key, please get in touch with us here.

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.

Coral Trees

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 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.

Become a Coral Restoration Diver

Join the dedicated team at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences and Anthony’s Key Resort and become a coral restoration diver. If you’re interested in participating in a maintenance dive, please sign up at the dive shop during your stay. To learn more, click here.