Divers from Dynasty Marine, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, R3EACH and Reef Renewal USA in partnership with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently worked with Ken Nedimyer to install anchors for a brand new coral nursery. Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation, is now the Director of Reef Renewal International working to save coral reefs here in the Florida Keys and around the world. “North America’s Great Barrier Reef” stretches from Miami down to the Dry Tortugas and is the third largest barrier reef in the entire world. However, this incredible reef system is threatened by climate change, coral disease and heavy use by humans.
The combined efforts of organizations like Reef Renewal, Dynasty Marine, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters and R3EACH bring hope for the future of Florida’s coral reefs. The new anchors installed by this team will serve as the base for Coral TreesTM which enable conservationists to farm endangered coral species and “outplant” them onto the Florida Reef Tract. This method has been developed through years of research and has been proven to work with 11 different coral species including the critically endangered Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals. Located just offshore near Marathon, this new site will add to a growing network of coral nurseries along the Florida Keys dedicated to preserving this precious ecosystem. The continuing cooperation of these organizations alongside FWC could prove to be crucial in securing a healthy future for Florida’s coral reefs. In the words of Ken Nedimyer, “To rise to meet some of the biggest challenges our reefs have ever faced, we need to work together, collaborate and empower each other.”