As the coral reef population plummets around the world, the Dutch Caribbean is taking the lead in the fight to grow new reefs.
In Curaçao, the Coral Restoration Foundation continues to plant new coral “trees” in the island’s waters, and is now celebrating its first anniversary.
The effort began in May 2015 with 400 coral fragments hanging from 10 coral trees on the house reef of Ocean Encounters Diving.
The trees provide a nurturing environment for fragments of Elkhorn and Staghorn coral.
The first year saw the installation of 10 new trees, with the nursery growing to 1,250 corals.
With all of the growth, the corals were ready to be outplanted to restore the reefs of the island.
To celebrate the foundation’s first anniversary, the group has now planted 360 new corals.
“What an amazing year,” says Pol Bosch, project manager of the Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao. “It’s a great feeling to give back to our delicate marine environment and to realize that together we can make a difference. The health of our nurseries is extraordinary and I sincerely believe that we will be able to outplant more than 2,000 corals in our second year.”