Coral Restoration Basics and Theory

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Recent studies have found that about 50% of the world’s coral reefs have already been lost, and the other 50% are highly threatened. The long-running philosophy of “protection is always preferred over restoration” is a luxury that no longer applies to most regions. More and more, restoration is necessary to preserve the biodiversity and functionality of reefs and to ensure the sustainability of the resources they provide.

Our reef restoration programs have evolved greatly since our first coral nursery in 2007. We take an ecosystem approach to restoration, which means that we take a holistic approach, focusing on the long-term sustainability and adaptability of the ecosystem rather than just trying to add more corals into areas where they will not survive. This approach has proven successful, as detailed in this 2020 independent analysis of our reef restoration techniques following more than 10 years of our concentrated efforts.

Our courses are on the cutting-edge of science-based coral restoration with a focus on genetics, adaptability, and resilience. We also adhere to the code of ethics as outlined by the Coral Restoration Consortium. Participants in our program will learn all of the theories and techniques behind coral reef restoration, as well as get hands-on practice in these techniques. With more than 15 years of experience, we can ensure that everybody coming through our program will leave feeling knowledgeable enough to initiate programs of their own and confident enough in their skills to carry those projects out to completion.

Coral reefs are rapidly declining worldwide, and we are reaching the tipping points that could lead to the complete loss of their ecological and economic function by 2050.

In this course, you will learn the theory behind coral restoration and be introduced to many of the methods and techniques being used around the world.

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This course was created by Chad Scott With support and contributions by Spencer Arnold, George Bevan, Leon Haines, Elouise Haskin, and Kirsty Magson. This course would not be possible without the support of Devrim and Malephan Zahir and the New Heaven Dive School.