SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 21, February 2017 - Page 73

Recovery Plan.

In addition to being a very impressive restoration effort, this project will also result in the creation of a unique scientific data set that researchers can use for years to come. The data collected will provide a greater understanding of coral survivorship and will come from a monitoring program that examines three primary attributes of coral genotypes: growth, condition, and survivability.

Other highlights of the grant include increasing capacity for future outplanting efforts of other ESA Threatened Species. To start, 36 genotypes of each star coral (Orbicella faveolata) and boulder coral (O. annularis) will be built to over 2,000 colonies for various outplanting strategies over the course of the grant. Also, a Citizen Scientist Monitoring Program has been initiated allowing individual snorkelers or divers to contribute to Coral Restoration Foundation’s efforts. Citizen Scientists collect data on previously outplanted coral clusters and submit findings to an online database, adding to the organization’s knowledge of survivorship.

Scott Winters, CEO of Coral Restoration Foundation, says, “NOAA has been an integral piece in our success from the start of our organization and we look forward to continuing our partnership towards the overarching goal of a healthy ocean.” Coral Restoration Foundation is also grateful to the

February 2017 - Stories from the Sea