Over the Summer, I have been contacted by several students and researchers gathering material and documenting the methods and results of coral reef management programs across the Caribbean. One such researcher has recently published her latest paper and I found it to be very interesting as it focuses on the Caribbean working to save our coral reefs. 11 projects (and 12 individuals) from different locations were surveyed and quantified to depict common trends. A total of 49 programs were found initially that were verifiable programs. 31 operations were contacted and only a portion replied with applicable data. Some of the … Continue reading Coral Reefs: Anthropogenic Impacts and Restoration in the Caribbean by Yana Pikulak
Every Summer our corals spawn one time and blanket nearby reefs with larval corals. Since our project began in 2016 we have seen our corals spawning every year. Of course, in 2016 the corals were so tiny that they were unable to contribute much to the nearby reef, but in 2017 and then again in 2018, the corals had grown to a reasonable size and the impact they had on our reefs is amazing. In 2018 we recorded our corals spawning, but we also wanted to establish what population of ACER (Acropora Cervicornis) was present. On the majority of our … Continue reading So your corals spawned, what now?
Starting in the Summer of 2019, the Eco Divers program has been authorized to expand their stock of corals to include Elkhorn (Acropora Palmatta). Authorization was also approved to increase the variety of Staghorn (Acropora Cervicornis) genotypes in our nursery program. Our first inclination was that the Elkhorn had to be a priority. Discussions with outside groups indicated that their experience with Elkhorn had been fraught with difficulties. Many issues were limited to the normal problems faced by any coral nursery corals. Predators, bleaching or disease outbreak. However, considering the depth of our nursery structures, my greatest worry was of … Continue reading Coral nursery expansion 2019
In celebration of Qeen Elizabeth II birthday, Don Fosters Dive Center hosted a “Hunt for the Queens Head” SCUBA event. The proceeds to be donated to the Eco Divers Reef Foundation in support of our 2019 program. The rules were simple, each diver had one hour to find a single silvery coin underwater on the Don Fosters dive site. Each coin had a number written on it and that was linked to one of the many prizes that were donated by local companies. Special thanks to Jennifer Rodgers, Leah Andrews and the entire Don Fosters team for putting so much … Continue reading The Hunt for the Queens Head!
I got started working with coral by growing it in an aquarium at home in California. I loved it and quickly began to farm my little corals and sell or trade them locally. At one point I had around 500 gallons of reeftanks in my living room. This fascination with coral led me to learn how to SCUBA dive. Northern California has cold water with no major coral reefs, but the Bull Kelp and wildlife was amazing. Eventually, I became a Divemaster and began to look toward tropical diving and the corals I loved so much. I ended up moving … Continue reading The Eco Diver way.
People sometimes wonder what exactly does a coral management program do. Maybe protect corals in some ambiguous way? Let us take a moment and explain what we do and how we do it. One of our primary activities is creating and managing a sustainable quantity of coral for our volunteers to return to our local reefs. Coral populations have suffered heavy losses from disease outbreak, warming water temperatures and storm damage during the last twenty years. Our program responsibly harvests native corals and then propagates them by asexual fragmentation. This method takes existing fragments of live coral and breaks it … Continue reading What do we do?
In 2014 we began a journey toward protecting and managing our coral reefs. In 2016 we established our first coral nurseries. The first ever in Grand Cayman. In 2018 we began to return those corals to our local reefs. Join us in 2019 as we expand our coral nursery program and create 14 outplant sites along the Western shore of Grand Cayman. In 2019, we have expanded our plan to include new species and more coral being returned to the reef. Eight new out plant sites proposed along the Seven Mile Beach area Survey and Finalization of specific areas for … Continue reading Eco Divers Reef Foundation 2019 Coral Management Plan