The Coral Restoration Foundation: Rebuilding the Reefs

by | Aug 5, 2011 | Conservation, Corals, Industry, Science | 0 comments

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Ken Nedimyer, a former coral wholesaler and online retailer who is now President of the Coral Restoration Foundation- an organization dedicated to the repopulation of the reefs in the Florida Keys. A task that sounds formidable, if not impossible. Over the several hours that I had the opportunity to talk with Ken, I came to realize that not only was this goal doable but that he had solved a myriad of problems related to population genetics of corals and was firmly on his way to establishing his goal. When we parted I was deeply impressed by his enthusiasm, vision and progress towards this goal. My purpose in penning this blog article is to bring the work of the CRF to your attention and share with you an positive story from an otherwise maligned hobby.
So what are the facts of the story.
1. Over the last few years environmental issues have led to the demise of over 90% of the native corals in the Florida keys.
2.Remaining populations are isolated and extremely fragile due to an inability to sexually reproduce.
3. CRF has propagated various genetic lineages and is able to “reseed” dead reefs with sufficient genetic variety to ensure sexual reproduction.
4. So far the restored reefs are thriving.

So those are the story highlights. I invite you to listen along as Ken describes his journey from retailer to reef restoration. I am sure you will find, as I did, his story to be very inspirational.

Ken Nedimyer discussing the development of the CRF

I also invite to check out the website for the CRF at where you can learn about volunteering and becoming part of this effort, as well as how to adopt a coral and more on the great work being done by the CRF.

  • Paul Whitby

    Paul Whitby is originally from the UK, but now resides in Oklahoma USA. While in the UK, he received his Doctorate in the microbiology of fish diseases, specifically diseases of fish with high economic importance and has published several articles in this field as well as medical microbiology. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma where he specializes in the microbiology of pediatric infectious diseases. Paul is the current President of the Central Oklahoma Marine Aquarium Society (COMAS) and has had several articles published in Reefs Magazine, Reef Keeping magazine and and ReefBuilders. He has published several articles on COMAS, the development of a captive propagation program to conserve coral species, pests and parasites in marine aquaria as well as numerous reviews. In October 2007 his SPS dominated display tank was selected as Reef Keeping Magazine's Tank of the Month. Paul has presented several marine aquarium related seminars at local clubs and conferences including Oklahoma's CRASE, Reef Fest, ReefStock, NERAC, IMAC west and others. In association with his good friend Ed Brookshire, Paul owns He has been keeping saltwater aquariums for over 22 years and has owned a variety of tanks ranging from under 30 to in excess of 600 gallons. His current system, including filtration, is over 1,000 gallons.


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