Carysfort 2020: Restoring an Icon, Inspiring the World
When the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary surveyed 14 acres of Carysfort Reef, they found only 18 living colonies of coral. By 2019, only two of the 18 wild colonies documented still survived. Over the last 40 years, Carysfort Reef lost 97% of its once dominant, reef-building corals and it became clear that without any intervention, this loss would continue until there were no live corals remaining.
In 2016, Ocean Reef Club began a five-year collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation™ with a goal to bring one of the world’s most iconic reefs back to life. This unique partnership set a goal to plant over 30,000 corals on Carysfort Reef. The astounding success and survival rate of these corals is now paving the way for large-scale reef restoration and providing hope for coral reefs around the world.
The Club worked closely with the Coral Restoration Foundation and set specific and measurable goals:
•Make an ecologically significant difference to coral coverage at Carysfort Reef with over 30,000 coral outplantings
•Expand the Coral Tree
Nursery at Carysfort to 100 coral growing trees
•Make Carysfort Reef a global example of reef restoration though research studies
•Increase public awareness of the importance of Carysfort Reef, the degradation of the Florida Reef Tract, and our commitment to protecting these vital areas to our way of life
Now in our fifth year of partnership, we have accomplished these objectives and more:
•35,108 corals outplanted (largest project in the world)
•First to receive CRF boulder coral outplants using new techniques
•First site on which CRF outplanted sexually reproduced corals
•Pioneering example of largescale photomosaics to track the work through time
•Has become a destination for research on coral restoration
•“Reef Futures 2018”, the world’s first reef restoration symposium, brought 500+ participants from 40+ countries to Ocean Reef Club to begin collaborative efforts to scale up reef restoration initiatives around the world.
Thanks to Ocean Reef Club’s support, Coral Restoration Foundation has now returned critically endangered corals back to this iconic reef. Almost every staghorn and Elkhorn coral you see on Carysfort Reef today was put there by the CRF™ team.
Join the Coral Restoration Foundation’s CEO, Scott Winters, at the Cultural Center at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 9 to hear the exciting and inspiring story of this project.