Coral gardening is a beautiful, peaceful art form that is saving the planet one reef at a time.
Coral reefs – the lungs of the ocean – help to sustain life on earth by giving us air to breathe, food to eat and coastal protection.
Coral reef threats
It’s estimated that 60% of our coral reefs will be destroyed within the next 30 years; currently 27% of coral reefs have been degraded. While some degradation occurs naturally, most is as a result of human impact. Overfishing, pollution, excessive tourism and climate change all play a role.
Restoration through coral gardening
Coral gardening helps to restore the reef and reverse degradation by breathing life back into our oceans. Nurseries have been set up around the world to help rebuild the reefs in greatest danger.
In some cases, specialist techniques are used to grow coral in ocean simulators. As in the nursery here:
Elsewhere, coral gardeners tend to aquatic plants in underwater nurseries; where species of coral are grown and then replanted into the seabed. Scientists monitor the success of the coral and make adjustments based on the needs of the plants, as a botanist would in a normal garden.
Coral gardening is achieving great success worldwide; with nurseries growing abundant, healthy coral that when replanted, remain strong and create ecosystems where marine life can thrive. And while this is great news, we must learn to limit our impact on the ocean to better protect our coral reefs. Just like the rainforest, they are our our lifeline and our greatest friend.