Mote to host week-long coral restoration workshop in Florida Keys

Mote Marine Laboratory will host a five-day coral restoration workshop in the Florida Keys, providing hands-on intensive training in Mote’s signature coral fragmentation process, along with knowledge about coral larval settlement and survival in a land-based nursery and proper monitoring of outplanted coral. Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration and Manager of Mote’s Coral Reef Restoration Program, will lead the coral restoration workshop starting March 25, ending March 29 and geared toward those with an interest in conducting their own restoration projects.

Vaughan most notably pioneered implementation of coral fragmentation techniques to re-skin massive coral species for reef restoration. Vaughan’s first workshop late last year was designed to share best practices with other coral restoration enthusiasts. “We had students from all around the globe come to our facility to learn our methods of restoration.  Many already had restoration efforts underway in their parts of the world and were interested in implementing new key knowledge and understanding how to scale-up their production,” said Vaughan.  The first workshop was deemed such a success by the attendees that Vaughan decided to host another workshop this March. “The knowledge transfer with other coral restoration stewards is so important as we all continue to face similar impacts to our marine environment,” added Vaughan.

Workshop Schedule (some activities are weather-dependent):

Monday, March 25:               Orientation & tour of the facility; History of massive and staghorn coral restoration

Tuesday, March 26:              Massive coral species production and land-based nursery training; Participant presentation of current projects/interests; micro-fragmentation lab & fusion

Wednesday, March 27:        Field nursery dive or snorkel, nursery gear manufacturing and site selection

Thursday, March 28:             Research project presentations/review; coral sexual reproductions opportunities and settlement; early juvenile care, genotype testing and tracking; data collection, scale-up and economics

Friday, March 29:                  Land-based system design, planning and construction; field trip to outplant site

The cost of the workshop is $1,400 and includes meals and accommodations at the facility. Each participant is responsible for providing their own snorkel and/or dive equipment. For more information or to register, click here. If you are interested in learning more about coral restoration workshops and volunteer opportunities, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/115hrupqiN6l5gJAdEjrZdx6im7lJ3M8BNUFqOG5ckno/viewform?ts=58cae651&edit_requested=true.