Ecology Courses

Bay Island Reef Restoration Specialty

This new initiative is a coral nursery and coral restoration program that is conserving and replanting threatened coral species
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Roatan Dive Academy, Turquoise Bay Resort and Subway Watersports are proud supporters of Bay Islands Reef Restoration (BIRR). This new iniative is a coral nursery and coral restoration program that is conserving and replanting threatened coral species. In March 2016 we worked with Coral Restoration Foundation International (CRFI), this Florida-based non-profit organization helped us to install 10 coral nursery “trees” near Turquoise Bay on Roatan’s north coast.

The nursery trees, are constructed out of PVC, fiberglass rods, and marine epoxy. Our trees are attached to the sea floor with moorings and suspended in mid-water with subsurface floats.

The coral nurseries are stocked with coral fragments from multiple genotypes of Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) and Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis). The coral fragments are “hung,” or attached, to the trees using monofilament and metal crimps. We stock the trees with either “fragments of opportunity,” loose coral fragments that have broken off Elkhorn or Staghorn colonies, or from end-tip clippings of less than 10% of the coral tissue of a healthy colony.

Course
Investment:
$140USD


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Need to work on the pre-requisites? Don’t worry, we are here to help. Contact us
Course Pre Requisites
For enrolling in this course you need to be a certified diver with good control of your bouyancy. Advanced diver certification is recommended.
The science behind the project
The two species of Acropora coral selected for Roatan’s new coral nurseries were once the most abundant and important species on Caribbean coral reefs. This Corals were building reef structure and three-dimensional habitat for marine life. Elkhorn and Staghorn corals underwent serious declines in abundance in the 1970s and 1980s and were listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act in 2006.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has estimated that the Caribbean has lost more than 97 percent of these vital corals. White Band disease, elevated seawater temperatures, pollution, and other stressors account for these losses.

While Elkhorn and Staghorn have declined dramatically, there are certainly healthy colonies on Roatan’s reefs. Bay Islands Reef Restoration collects pieces of opportunity, fragments the collections, and grows the fragments in our nursery. Once the corals are large enough they are taken to plant back on the reef. We seek to preserve the remaining genetic diversity of these threatened species and plant genetically diverse corals back on the reef. Our final goal is to create thickets of closely grouped corals that can more readily sexually reproduce through successful spawning.
Skills Developed During the Course
During the course you will learn about:

• Coral clasification and growth
• Coralreef threats
• Collecting, handling and transplanting corals
• Nursery maitenance techniques
Investment Summary
Course Investment - US$ 140
Schedule
Please ask us for the pre planned courses, or let us know when you are available and we will prepare a plan for you.
Course
Investment:
$140USD.00


Request reservation

Need to work on the pre-requisites? Don’t worry, we are here to help. Contact us

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