Resolve Transplanted Coral Shows Rapid Growth

by resolveadm on September 4, 2008

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Resolve’s work on coral reef restoration (together with Coastal Recovery by Farrell), has so far yielded excellent results. Resolve has placed artifical ceramic structures on the ocean floor to restore 3 dimensional structure, and then transplanted live coral onto the artificial reef structures. Over time, the coral overgrows these structures, gradually transforming an artificial creation into a thriving natural coral reef .

Staff Marine Biologist Dr. Michael Haley has been working with University of Miami biologists to rehabilitate damaged corals and restore live corals to damaged sites in South Florida. Mike and his team have been harvesting corals growing on the Osborne Tire Reef off Ft. Lauderdale, which consists of more than 2 million tires put down in the 1970s, and which is slated for removal. Resolve/Coastal Recovery carefully removes the corals growing on top of these tires and transports them to the University of Miami’s laboratory on Rickenbacker Cay, one of the only facilities in the country that can successfully rear and fragment corals. Resolve has now transplanted corals grown in the lab. back into the sea to study how this technique can help damage from ship groundings.

So far, this study has yielded excellent results. The branching coral transplanted on the ceramic structures has increased in size by more than 67% in three months, a rate of growth that equals corals kept in the laboratory under ideal conditions, and actually exceeds the growth of the same species growing in the wild nearby. At current growth rates, the artificial reef structures will be overgrown by live coral in 1-2 years, and therefore this technique shows that coral reefs can be restored using this technique. Resolve and Coastal Recovery are the only private companies in the US that has now demonstrated the ability to restore coral reefs after they have been damaged.

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