Carysfort Reef, Key Largo

May 2016

Replanting and restoration of coral reef over five years.

Forty years ago, North Carysfort Reef, near Key Largo, was a model of a healthy reef ecosystem and abundant coral growth. Since then, however, it has lost 99% of its coral cover. The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), a Florida nonprofit organization, has refined coral-growing and transplanting techniques over the last decade. It is now successfully propagating corals in local nurseries and planting them to the reef.

Seacology’s grant will help finance CRF’s five-year plan to replant North Carysfort Reef. The project seeks to restore two critical reef-building corals, staghorn and elkhorn, to the levels of 50 years ago in terms of density, area covered, and historical proportions. The first stage of the project will create an easily accessible example of what the restored reef will look like. Later, CRF will replant more of the reef. The ultimate goal is to create a self-sufficient reef with spawning coral, and an international model of reef restoration.

Project Updates
May 2018
Seacology's role in this ongoing five-year reef restoration project is now complete. Since 2016, our partner, the Ocean Reef Conservation Foundation, has grown and outplanted more than 3,100...
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November 2017
As Hurricane Irma slammed Florida in September, we wondered how it would affect not only the people there, but also the natural environment, including the Carysfort reef and coral nursery. The...
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May 2017
So far in 2017, 211 staghorn and 20 elkhorn corals have been planted on the reef. As corals grow, predation, disease, bleaching, and competition from algae and other organisms take a toll....
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December 2016
Our NGO partner reports that in 2016, the nursery expanded to 104 “trees” on which to grow corals, and more than 3,100 staghorn and elkhorn (two critical reef-building corals) were outplanted...
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