Coral reef restoration research gets charitable boost

Part of the work in building the resilience of coral reefs is coral outplanting, as seen in this photo of staghorn coral. - Photo: CCMI

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute has received a US$68,000 donation from the AALL foundation to support its coral restoration field work.

The funds will provide a boost to CCMI’s Coral Restoration Programme, launched in 2012 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment. The institute now has three nurseries that support coral restoration research dedicated to improving intervention strategies in Cayman and across the Caribbean.

“The AALL Foundation funding comes at a critical time for CCMI, as our research programme is working hard to unlock the secrets of coral resiliency, embarking on a deliberate five-year research agenda to grow a more resilient and robust community of corals,” said CCMI President Carrie Manfrino in a press statement.

“CCMI and our marine field station in Little Cayman affords modern laboratory facilities, an unspoiled coral reef ecosystem, and significant scientific affiliations – which are key to building CCMI’s capacity to advance the frontiers of knowledge about coral regeneration. We are deeply thankful to the AALL Foundation for this support.”

AALL trustee Sophia Harris said the donation is part of the work the foundation has worked to support over the past 30 years.

“It is hoped that with the increased awareness of the endangerment of our reefs and our very ecosystems, in general, CCMI and indeed any initiatives to improve these conditions, will gain more support,” Harris said in a press statement.

“It is hoped that the work they do will not only positively impact Cayman but will ultimately provide useful data and research, globally. We are confident that our funding this year to CCMI is an excellent charitable contribution and investment in improving our ecosystem and therefore our own future.”

Focus on CCMI restoration efforts was renewed in December 2018 during a private dinner hosted in London by the institute’s patron, Prince Edward.

“With increasing water temperatures threatening coral reef health, the team know they must progress their restoration efforts at pace, to be able to contribute to protecting coral reefs in the Cayman Islands and across the Caribbean region,” a CCMI press release said.

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