To expand our positive impacts on coral reefs in the Upper Florida Keys, Mote Marine Laboratory created the first and only land-based coral nursery in Key Largo. The Key Largo Coral Nursery, situated on the property of the Reefhouse Resort & Marina is a satellite campus of Mote's primary Florida Keys location: the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration on Summerland Key.
Our Key Largo Nursery can host up to 20,000 coral fragments, facilitating first-in-class, resilience-focused restoration efforts on iconic local reefs such as Carysfort, Grecian Rocks and French Reef. By expanding operations in Key Largo, Mote continues to directly respond to the urgent plight Florida’s Coral Reef is facing.
Mote's restoration efforts are uniquely comprehensive, incorporating both land-based and underwater nurseries and innovative research to understand and address multiple threats to corals' survival. Land-based nurseries help us optimize the growth of key native coral species, such as elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), which grows faster after fragmentation in land-based than underwater nurseries. Meanwhile, underwater nurseries allow us to optimize the growth of other species essential for coral restoration.