In Antigua, Restoring Caribbean Coral Reefs

antigua caribbean coral reefs

A new project to help restore coral reefs has officially kicked off in Antigua and Barbuda. 

The initiative by coral reef restoration project OceanShot has deployed the first of its new coral “modules” off the island of Antigua. 

The project, a featured program of the Global Citizen Forum and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, combine built structures and living corals, functioning as natural refs to combat storms surge, erosion and provide habitat for hundreds of species. 

“This is our moon shot – but instead of launching up, we’re launching down. With OceanShot, we are restoring the place that is critical to human survival today – as well as for our future. Without healthy oceans, there is no us,” said marine biologist Dr. Debora Brosnan. “This isn’t just a science project, this is a full-scale solution that might be the answer to saving small island nations. We now know how to design and build reefs, and locate them so we get maximum benefits for the coast, as well as reviving fisheries and local communities’ blue economies.”

The plan comes as more than half of the world’s reefs have already been destroyed, with more coral lost each day than can be restored in a decade, the group says. 

For OceanShot, Brosnan brought together a team of coral reef biologists, sea level experts, coastline engineers and local stakeholders for a year-long study of the Antiguan ecosystem. 

Modelers helped design reef modules that would also help keep sand on the beaches and provide a “living lab” to further advance reef solutions. 

“The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda proudly pledged its full support to OceanShot from the outset,” said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, one of the leading figures tackling climate-change for Caribbean Island Nations. “We are the first country on which the project’s scalable solutions have been deployed. Prioritizing ocean resilience and blue economy for our citizens are among the most important initiatives being developed on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda.”

It’s part of a growing trend of coral restoration in the Caribbean, with more and more islands looking to restore and replant coral to help safeguard their precious ecosystems. 

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