A group of private and nonprofit organizations will begin setting up a coral restoration effort next month off the shores of the Caribbean island of Curacao.
Dive company Ocean Encounters, the Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI) non-profit organization and the Coral Restoration Foundation will be placing the first 10 staghorn coral tree nurseries between May 19th and the 26th on the Stella Maris divesite, outside the wave breakers off the Sea Aquarium beach.
Over the past 30 years, the coral reefs off Curacao have declined in health.
Consequently, the three aforementioned groups have established the “Curacao Reef Restoration Program” and earlier this month signed a Memoradum of Understanding to officially launch this program on May 19th.
The program’s main goal is to bring back the shallow-water populations of staghorn corals in Curacao, which would not only help mitigate the possible effects of climate change but also rejuvenate reef fisheries and biodiversity, as well as help dive tourism. It’s meant to supplement the work currently being done in the region by the SECORE Foundation, another worldwide reef conservation nonprofit organization.
“The significance of the Curacao Reef Restoration Program is that together as a community here on Curacao, we will be restoring our shallow water reef system while educating our youth about the importance of protecting and preserving our natural ecosystem,” according to Jeremiah Peek, managing director at Ocean Encounters Diving, who adds: “I believe programs like this help solidify a natural sustainability for future generations.”