The Coral Restoration Consortium is a community of scientists, managers, coral restoration practitioners, and educators dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to adapt and survive the 21st century and beyond. The CRC’s mission is to foster collaboration and technology transfer among participants and to facilitate scientific and practical ingenuity to demonstrate that restoration can achieve meaningful results at scales relevant to reefs in their roles of protecting coastlines, supporting fisheries, and serving as economic engines for coastal communities.
The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, a partnership to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt and recover. The RRAP Research and Development Program was launched in 2020 with $100M funding through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Partnership, led by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Program is exploring a range of innovative interventions at scale on the Great Barrier Reef, to help it adapt to, and recover from, the effects of climate change. The Program is delivered by a consortium of partners, each bringing unique and complementary capabilities.
Of the 54 Commonwealth member countries, 37 have coral reefs, these account for 45% of the global whole by area. Australia, Belize and Mauritius are co-championing an Action Group to protect and restore coral reefs, together with like-minded members that include Bahamas, Barbados, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom.
During a meeting in July 2019 members highlighted the need for the member of the Action Group highlighted the need to monitor progress, share information and work with the right partners, including a strategy to engage scientific institutions, governments, private sector and civil society to support coral reef initiatives. The Commonwealth Secretariat is also producing a number of good and best practice case studies for the Commonwealth countries.
Coral reefs in the Florida Keys have suffered dramatic declines in the last 40 years and in an effort to rectify this NOAA and partners have launched Mission: Iconic Reefs.
Mission: Iconic Reefs is an effort to restore seven ecologically and culturally significant coral reefs within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; informed by years of research, successful trials, and expertise, the mission represents one of the largest investments ever undertaken in coral restoration. The partners will restore nearly three million square feet of the Florida Reef Tract, about the size of 52 football fields, at seven key reef sites.
The team at James Cook University synthesised the available knowledge of coral restoration methods in a review paper (published January 2020), incorporating data from the peer-reviewed scientific literature, complemented with grey literature and a survey of coral restoration practitioners. The database underpinning this 2020 review is available to download here: Dryad Data repository.
The CRC Restoration Database a geospatial database is designed to track coral restoration efforts throughout the world. There are three products associated with this tracking effort:
- A Microsoft Access database that records information about coral nurseries and restoration sites
- Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for practitioners to record their coral nursery and restoration data to add to the database.
- An online map to display coral nursery and restoration data.
The Coral Reef Restoration Module compiles the latest scientific guidance and tools to help managers, researchers and practitioners ensure the maximum success of a coral reef restoration project and the most efficient use of limited resources. This section includes the following topics prioritized by a global survey of coral reef managers:
- An introduction to restoration and its role in coral reef management
- Key considerations to be made when planning a restoration project or program
- Enhancing coral populations through fragmentation and larval recruitment
- Adding new or enhancing already present reef substrate
- Restoring the reef environment including other coastal habitats
The Reef Resilience Network also has an online course on restoration learn more here.
The Commonwealth Blue Charter published a case study on the success of the non-profit community-based organisation Fragments of Hope in Laughing Bird Caye National Park (LBCNP) in Belize. Fragments of Hope started the LBCNP restoration site in 2006 and it is considered the best example of reef restoration in the Caribbean. This case study presents the economic and conservation benefits of long term (successful) coral restoration, with specific focus on tourism and fisheries, which are key industries dependant on healthy reefs in Belize.