Our intention to attend a couple of different 10:00 a.m. sessions went by the wayside although we did make our 11:00 sessions. The one I attended was entirely different from what I thought it was going to be and turned out to be of even greater interest. In fact, so much so that I have asked permission to do an article for the paper. I’ve posted here before about the wonderful work of the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) in Key Largo. For those who may not have read that blog – it was a long time ago – they are a now world-known organization that began as a small 4-H project with daughter and father to see if she could fragment a coral and use that to grow another, then replant it on a reef successfully. There are multiple organizations now around the globe using that or similar techniques to try and restore reefs. Some are non-profit, others university efforts or government entities. Anyway, the session this morning is about our National Marine Sanctuary taking in the lead in getting CRF and quite a few others together in a partnering effort to focus on seven specific reefs that range from Key Largo down to Key West. By focusing on these specific reefs, they can have solid base-line data and track progress in a meaningful way. It is a three-phase program to run for 20 years with the goal of increasing coral growth to 25% of each reef. That’s about 10% less than what is considered optimal for a reef to sustain. Going under the percentage is because there may also be some “natural” growth that occurs in what is basically like cross-pollination once the planted corals start to flourish. Lots more to come on that.
On another note, we hadn’t realized a friend (and sister author) was involved with one of the newest scuba technologies. And yes, she is based out of Maui. Hugh and I had split up while I went to get a quote for an article. He got in on the explanation of what the new rig does and I’m still trying to get a full understanding. It was nice to see Jennifer again and we’re thrilled she’s doing well.