Unique Partnership to Restore Reefs in the Florida Keys

Unique Partnership to Restore Reefs in the Florida Keys

On Tuesday, June 27, members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts International will join forces with scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory to plant 500 nursery grown corals near Looe Key.

Members of the media are invited to join the trip, though there are only a LIMITED NUMBER of spaces available for media divers and snorkelers. (Details below) Please email nadine@vettedcommunications.com to register your interest and see if spots are still available. Your space will not be confirmed until you’ve spoken with Nadine (239-339-7914).
Members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge work with Mote scientists and SCUBAnauts youths to help restore a reef in the Florida Keys.

This event, being conducted under Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) permit #2015-163-A1, marks the sixth year of a unique coral restoration partnership that enables citizen science volunteers to participate in cutting-edge marine habitat restoration. It will also be the first time the groups have come together since the opening of the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (IC2R3) at Mote. The IC2R3 is advancing coral reef research using new seawater systems, raceways and experimental tanks for studying the effects of rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification on multiple species. The Lab is also equipped for next generation genomic sequencing and analyses that will help uncover the best genetic strains of corals for reef restoration and more.

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In the News: News-Press.com

In the News: News-Press.com

Military vets who have lost one or more limbs in combat go around the world participating in challenging projects that have scientific components. They are in the Keys to help researchers engineer better prosthetic limbs for scuba divers. Stay tuned this week for The News-Press coverage.

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Click here for pictures – Picture credit: Ricardo Rolon / The News-Press, Ricardo Rolon / The News-Press

In the News: Mote Marine Lab project works to restore coral reefs

GULF OF MEXICO — Mote Marine Laboratory joined forces Monday with members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts International in an underwater mission to restore Florida’s reef. More than 50 divers planted some 250 fragments of staghorn coral in Mote’s special restoration site near Looe Key.

This year marks the fourth year the groups have worked together to plant coral fragments grown in Mote’s underwater coral nursery in the restoration area. Mote established the nursery more than eight years ago to grow colonies of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) for replanting on decimated or damaged sections of reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

When the colonies reach a suitable size, small fragments nearly 2 inches long are snipped off and used to create a new colony — similar to the way new plants are grown from cuttings of existing plants. Then these cuttings are then mounted on the reef so they can grow and develop into new colonies.

Mote has about 10,000 coral colonies — some 150,000 fragments — growing in its underwater nursery representing nearly 60 different genotypes.

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