How to Save Our Coral: A Case Study in the Caribbean


Bonaire: Where Coral and Cactus Thrive,
and the Sea Soothes the Soul

photo credit: Erik Freeland for The New York Times

photo credit: Erik Freeland for The New York Times

Look at all those lively coral polyps!

After running a second Scientist in Residence workshop—Collaborative Construction of a Coral Reef Research Station—and exploring the questions ‘What do we know?’ ‘How do we know it?’ and ‘What could we build to learn more?’, I am thrilled to see that for all the rather dispiriting news about coral death, there is this glimmer of hope offered by Bonaire.

… it has successfully experimented with underwater “nurseries,” which are treelike and fiberglass, to grow new coral from tiny bits of living coral, to transplantable size. When the baby coral grows to about the size of a basketball, after about six months, volunteers and a few interns again transplant it onto the reef floor. Some 20,000 coral transplantations are thriving on reefs around Bonaire and more are being planted all the time.

Click on either image to the left to link to the NYTimes article, complete with more beautiful coral images!