[Coral-List] Coral Reef Restoration in Florida

Andrew Ross ross.andrew at mac.com
Thu Mar 3 12:39:28 EST 2016

Agreed, there is plenty of info on the nurseries (branching, mainly Acroporids) but little on the out-planting that is arguably the point of the exercise. 
It was a hard-lessons-learned rather than the success story you have requested, but: 
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268146804_Genet_and_reef_position_effects_in_out-planting_of_nursery-grown_Acropora_cervicornis_ScleractiniaAcroporidae_in_Montego_Bay_Jamaica <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268146804_Genet_and_reef_position_effects_in_out-planting_of_nursery-grown_Acropora_cervicornis_ScleractiniaAcroporidae_in_Montego_Bay_Jamaica>

Not published but maybe relevant to your query: 

https://youtu.be/Y3jyhWnRZlE <https://youtu.be/Y3jyhWnRZlE>
is our out-plant site in the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary (Jamaica) in March of last year (2015). It’s a fisherman-run MPA and coral culture & gardening project initially funded by the Goldeney Resort and now by the Jamaican Govt and a couple of project-donors. The fishers are currently setting up their own dive&snorkel operation to cover their management costs in-house, thus avoiding the usual (heartbreaking) gaps.
Quick note: “They” say that this site was as good as anything in Discovery Bay prior to 1980 and apparently hit harder than D-Bay in both Hurricanes Allen (1980) and Gilbert (1988). When we started planting in 2012 there was no living A. cervicornis within 300m of this spot and only three browbeaten colonies in the entire bay. Stegastes planifrons (3-spot damselfish) was essentially absent suggesting a long-time scarcity of staghorn coral/habitat. We started propagating in a low-maintenance nursery system (mid-water drop-loop, or “clothesline”) in 2009 with about 150 nubbins, as that’s all that we could take without undue karmic bruising. 

https://youtu.be/79uRJHLGijw <https://youtu.be/79uRJHLGijw>
https://youtu.be/V5AVjXo5P1A <https://youtu.be/V5AVjXo5P1A>
https://youtu.be/gzmkFGe6_Oc <https://youtu.be/gzmkFGe6_Oc>
https://youtu.be/SuN4SDQ0U7A <https://youtu.be/SuN4SDQ0U7A>
https://youtu.be/58aFU16kJ08 <https://youtu.be/58aFU16kJ08>
is the same site in January of this year (2016). As you can see, growth continued from the previous video; however, the gardening programme suffered funding gaps and worms, snails and disease returned while, it seems, the summertime hot-water reported for Cayman did impact Jamaica, we just didn’t see it. Either bleaching or bleaching-related disease (likely with vectors) hit the planting site and nurseries both, with maybe 30% loss in the nursery and huge partial mortalities at the plant-site, mainly in the colony bases leaving ends alive. Disease is/was continuing into January. Three-spot damselfish also had come back with a vengeance including copious recruits. We’re debating whether to cut/clean-out the dead and re-set the live or just let it haystack- suggestions & comments are welcome.

A brief list of lessons-learned: 
* Must have either abundant and diverse fish and shellfish, as per Lisa Carne’s work at Laughing Bird Key in Belize or, failing that, must have people playing the roles of fish and they must be properly incentivized and/or motivated as the work quickly gets tedious, tiring, cold and itchy/stingy. There are questions of critical mass in planted/established material to persist without tending, but my suggestion is to hedge-bets with regular & post-impact/event working visits.  
* Try to have at least one or two “stronger" (genetic) lineages if a site is to persist through high/low temperature events. The lineages we have at OBFS are pretty awful, for example. After a few years of nursery culture they’re doing passably with good growth and accelerated healing/attachment etc (and likely a bit of spawning, though that may be another problem in a warm year), but they still seem to be relatively/excessively susceptible to basic abrasion and temperature stresses. NB: these were all that we were able to find under a local-augment (rather than restoration per se) ethos. We will likely take our manta-tows a little further afield in the next iteration, and/or try some CARMABI-style facilitated recruitment. 

Apologies for being remiss in publishing, with particular apologies to those who have been helping and/or pestering. 

Best regards,


Andrew M. Ross, Ph.D.
Seascape Caribbean

> On Mar 2, 2016, at 8:48 AM, Dennis Hubbard <dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu> wrote:
> Hi all:
> We've seen a number of these kinds of documentaries and have all seen
> corals hung on clothes lines seemingly doing will. All the ones I've seen
> have been in passing and, while local dives shops allude to it "working
> great" I have never seen colonies out on the reef unless they settled there
> on their own (lots of small to mid-sized *A. palmata*, for example).
> Does anyone have references for papers that describe successful
> "restoration" (i.e., corals growing out, reproducing and starting to create
> even a small "reef community") using any of these methods?
> Dennis
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 12:39 AM, Douglas Fenner <
> douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Corals in the popular news:
>> An Atlantic Magazine video on YouTube: "A Breakthrough for coral reef
>> restoration"
>> http://youtu.be/qHKpcnn5Tws
>> Cheers,  Doug
>> --
>> Douglas Fenner
>> Consultant, corals, coral reefs, coral identification
>> "have regulator, will travel"
>> PO Box 7390
>> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
>> phone 1 684 622-7084
>> Join the International Society for Reef Studies.  Membership includes a
>> subscription to the journal Coral Reefs, and there are discounts for pdf
>> subscriptions and developing countries.  Check it out!  www.fit.edu/isrs/
>> "Belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."- Jim Beever.
>>  "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."-
>> Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
>> Sea level is now rising at the fastest rate in 3,000 years.
>> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/sea-levels-are-rising-their-fastest-rate-2000-years?utm_campaign=email-news-latest&et_rid=17045989&et_cid=292592
>> http://mashable.com/2016/02/22/manmade-sea-level-rise-flooding/#fscPLGedCiqz
>> January 2016 was the hottest January since records began in 1880.  The
>> arctic was hottest by far.  This is the 9th straight monthly record heat.
>> (hiatus where art thou?)
>> https://www.yahoo.com/news/january-2016-hottest-since-records-began-us-agency-212230867.html
>> Miami is flooding: "The Siege of Miami, as temperatures rise, so will sea
>> levels."  Sea level rising an inch a year there.
>> http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/21/the-siege-of-miami
>> website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner
>> blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope
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> -- 
> Dennis Hubbard
> Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
> (440) 775-8346
> * "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
> Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"
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