[Coral-List] Introduction to Coral Vita

Sam Teicher sam at coralvita.co
Mon Mar 21 10:59:24 EDT 2016

Hi all,

My name is Sam Teicher, and along with Gator Halpern we are the co-founders
of Coral Vita <http://coralvita.co/>. Our company's mission is to restore
dying reefs and protect reef health and benefits for future generations.

Gator and I launched Coral Vita during our master's program at the Yale
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Prior to grad school, I helped
launch a community-based coral farming project through ELI Africa
<http://www.eli-africa.org/projects/reefs/> in partnership with the
Mauritius Oceanography Institute and with funding from the United Nations
Development Programme. I saw how successful coral farming can be, but
realized that traditional methods don't effectively address the issue of
scaling up restoration efforts. Gator and I both are lifelong divers and
have loved the oceans since childhood, and we couldn't stand aside and do
nothing while reefs perish. Although the ecological imperative is enough to
motivate us, we recognize the important resource reefs provide for more
than 500M people through tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection. We
simply can't afford to lose reefs.

As Gator and I both were studying Business & the Environment, we decided to
take the entrepreneurial approach to solving this problem and build a reef
restoration company. We were accepted into the Yale Entrepreneurial
Institute's Summer Fellowship in 2015, and are now fundraising for our
pilot coral farm.

Coral Vita is working with some of the leading coral scientists to use
land-based coral farming to scale up restoration globally. To clarify Dr.
Briscoe's question, we are incorporating the *microfragmenting* method
developed by the Mote Marine Lab
<https://mote.org/research/program/coral-reef-restoration> to accelerate
coral growth. As well, we are incorporating *assisted evolution *methods
developed by the Gates Coral Lab and others
<http://www.pnas.org/content/112/8/2307.full> to enhance coral resiliency
to changing oceanic conditions that threaten their health. It's also worth
noting that projects will always use native corals and work in areas
optimal for restoration.

While Coral Vita recognizes that the best thing possible to keep reefs
healthy is to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and destructive local
practices like overfishing and pollution, it's likely that society can't do
enough in time to prevent the complete degradation of reefs. And even in
the best climate scenarios, there will still be a lag time before positive
effects are felt, so restoration is an absolute necessity to preserve coral

Tremendous credit is owed to all of the scientists, practitioners,
policymakers, and community leaders
<http://www.coralvita.co/reef-restoration-entities/> that developed
restoration methods and implemented projects over the past two decades. And
we also appreciate the great resource that is the Coral Listserv. We look
forward to working with everyone interested in keeping reefs healthy as we
roll out our projects. Please get in touch if you have any interest in
collaborating, want to share any insights, or have any questions. You can
reach us outside of the listserv at sam at coralvita.co and gator at coralvita.co.


Sam Teicher
Co-Founder, Coral Vita
*Growing Resilient Corals to Revive and Enhance Threatened Reefs*

Master of Environmental Management
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Class of 2015

More information about the Coral-List mailing list