Meet the People Who are Rebuilding the Reefs

AquaNerdBy AquaNerd 4 years ago
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A thicket of transplanted staghorn coral takes root in the Florida Keys. credit: Coral Reef Foundation

A thicket of transplanted staghorn coral takes root in the Florida Keys. credit: Coral Reef Foundation

 From the boat, there’s nothing remarkable about the place — just choppy water and a white mooring ball, a few miles offshore. But once we’re underwater, I can see the rows and rows of PVC trees, suspended above the sand in a grid that stretches away into the distant murk. This is a coral nursery. Each tree bears a ripening crop of a hundred or more pieces of coral. The smallest fragments are pinkie-sized, twirling on their tethers as other divers kick by; the largest hang like many-limbed chandeliers, turning slowly in the current. When I get closer, I can see the individual polyps, the anemone-like creatures that make up each fragmented colony. Nestled in the crenellated openings in their solid skeletons, they MORE

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