How a land-based coral farm in the Bahamas protects reefs | Trending Viral hub


TO coral farm in the Bahamas is proving that the most efficient way to restore coral reefs You may be growing them in soil.

Coral Vita is a reef restoration project that grows corals using microfragmentation — the process of cutting corals into small pieces and placing them close to each other to cause natural healing and accelerate the rapid growth of coral tissue.

While on the farm, the corals are also exposed to controlled stress, such as water heating either acidification, to help cultivate your resilience; This process is also known as “assisted evolution.” Once the corals have fully grown, they move to degraded reef sites in the ocean, where their impact is already noticeable.

“One of the restoration sites in Grand Bahama had 75 percent coral survival after one year,” the co-founder said. Sam Teicher he tells Mashable. “In the Bahamas, if you have 30 to 50 percent survival after one year, it’s considered a good project. So we had one site with 75 percent, another with 30 percent and another with 99 percent.”

During a Mass whitening in summer 2023., the natural corals in the area were annihilated. But the corals planted by Coral Vita, which had been given a resilience boost at the farm, survived.

“There is more work to do,” says Teicher. “But seeing the corals we’ve grown with these more resilient approaches survive is still very encouraging considering the threats we face.”

A coral 'cookie' grown on the Coral Vita farm.

Credit: Coral Vita

One of the elements that distinguishes Coral Vita from others reef restoration projects is that it is a for-profit organization, which Teicher said was a conscious choice.

“Having previously worked for NGOs and in the policy space in the environmental and climate sectors, and my co-founder Gator (Halpern) working in academia and environmental science, we felt that many environmental challenges were not being solved quickly or effectively enough. in those sectors, despite the best intentions and hard work,” he says. “What if we could create a company that could get entities to pay for restorations instead of a donation here and a grant there, which is how most coral farming projects are funded, which unfortunately limits much of the impact critically needed to keep the reefs alive.”

Not very different from Polluter pays principleCoral Vita asks the sectors that benefit from coral reefs, from tourism and Food industryto invest in the preservation of ecosystems in danger of extinction.

“We sell restoration to hotels, developers, governments, insurers and coastal property owners. Anyone who depends on tourism, coastal protection and the fishing benefits of reefs can hire Coral Vita to restore the reefs they depend on,” says Teicher .

“And then we also use our farms as educational centers for local communities, as well as tourist attractions. We have “Adopt a Coral” campaigns for individuals, as well as brands and corporations who can fund restoration from anywhere in the world if they believe in what we are doing. We also license our experience and techniques we develop to other coral restoration professionals so that we can generate income to fund more work and use that experience to help others achieve better restoration results. “So the idea is that if we can really catalyze a self-sustaining restoration economy, that can eventually lead to the planting of millions and billions of corals that are needed to keep the reefs alive.”

Since the 1950s, The world has lost more than half of its coral reefs. to climate change and ocean pollution and we are on track to lose almost all our corals by 2050. While Teicher admits that the actions that will have the greatest impact must come from world leaders, he believes that Coral Vita is an example of what individuals and companies can do, pending the implementation of state and international policies, to guarantee the reefs. of coral. They are still here for future generations.


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