Update 2: Living Reef Foundation Coral Garden Adoption
Did you know that the Total Economic Value of Bermuda’s Reefs represents 10-17% of Bermuda’s GDP? That is an impressive figure. Coral reefs in Bermuda protect the coast, support the fisheries, provide beaches – they are a treasure to protect and restore.
These are some of the reasons why 11th Hour Racing has decided to support the coral gardening project led by the Living Reefs Foundation in Bermuda, as a legacy that will live on long after the 35th America’s Cup.
Here is a brief update on the project.
Living Reefs is in the process of cleaning the corals following Hurricane Nicole; more than 90% of the corals planted survived, but there is some housekeeping to do.
The 11th Hour Racing coral garden frame has been installed and juvenile corals have been attached. Planting season is usually between early spring and fall, rather than winter, so that corals can take advantage of higher temperatures for growth.
Now begins the long, slow process of letting the corals grow. The corals are being monitored and data is being collected on a regular basis by students from BIOS (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences). For the remaining of the fall, there is a focus on baseline data-gathering in order to evaluate the progress of the coral gardens, and the long term impact on the surrounding reefs.
Click here to view a short video of the corals being attached to the frame.
Curious to know more about Coral Gardens? Here are some frequently asked question from the Living Reefs Foundation:
What is a Coral Garden? Coral Gardens are man-made frames, installed on the seabed on which juvenile corals are fixed, cleaned and monitored until such time as they are capable of growing and reproducing on their own.
Why have Coral Gardens? These underwater gardens are used as a means to restore corals and enhance coral recruitment in reef areas which have been previously damaged.
Are there successful Coral Gardens? Coral Gardens are growing worldwide; different sites focus on different coral species, with branching coral species being mostly used to date. In Bermuda, Living Reefs and BIOS propose to research coral gardening for Bermuda boulder species; this would also be useful to Caribbean reef conservation. Click and Experience a Coral Garden.
How does it work? Scientists grow juvenile corals in the laboratory from donor or parent colonies until they are large enough to be transferred to frames installed in selected sites; corals are cleaned often at first, their growth is monitored. As they grow and reproduce, other reef organisms become attracted to the coral environment, and the garden grows, enhancing the reef system in the area.
If you are interested in adopting a baby coral or a coral garden in Bermuda through the Living Reefs Foundation, you can find more information here.
Stay tuned for more updates as the 11th Hour Racing coral garden grows!
Photos ©11th Hour Racing