Coral Vita commits to planting thousands of corals to restore degraded reefs in the Caribbean over the next two years.
As a mission-driven company committed to helping preserve coral reefs for future generations, we plan to launch our pilot coral farm by the end of 2017. There, we will be integrating breakthrough coral farming methods developed by our advisors to grow corals up to 50x faster (Mote Marine Lab) while enhancing their resiliency to climate change (Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology). Using land-based coral farms, we can supply restoratation projects at scale with more diverse and resilient corals to help protect reef health and the communities who depend on them. We ultimately envision a global network of such farms that help carry out unprecedented ecosystem-level restoration projects.
Initially, our pilot coral farm will be small-scale, where we will grow several thousand coral fragments (native to the host country/territory) every 6-12 month growing cycle. Corals will be transplanted into reefs with optimal conditions for restoration (e.g. in marine protected areas), where we will monitor for various impact metrics, such as coral growth rates and survivorship, changes in marine life diversity and abundance, and level of engagement with local community members.
While we are driven primarily by our love for the oceans and appreciation for their wonder and critical ecological value, we also appreciate their critical socio-economic importance. By framing coral reef degradation as a threat to ecosystem services like food security, economic prosperity, coastal livelihoods, and shoreline protection, and demonstrating the value of reef restoration, we hope to motivate effective investment and create a sustainable financing system for protecting these marine resources. In turn, we also ensure that we build local communities into our efforts, in order to promote long-term stewardship for the people that benefit most from coral reefs.