By Allison Delashmit

Mote Marine Laboratory will continue its presentation series from 5-6 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at Divers Direct in Key West. These monthly events are free to the public and will feature a presentation from a marine scientist followed by a question and answer session.

The June 16 presenter is Joey Mandara, Staff Biologist for Mote’s Coral Reef Restoration Program. Mandara will explain Mote’s signature reef-building technique, microfragmentation, used to grow and restore reef-building, massive corals.  By cutting multiple species of coral into small pieces in Mote’s land-based nursery on Summerland Key, Mandara and colleagues accelerate the corals’ growth and outplant the pieces to “re-skin” coral skeletons on natural reefs.

In the past decade, Mote scientists, such as Mandara, have grown and planted more than 35,000 corals onto Florida’s reefs, working with multiple partners to achieve effective restoration. In May 2017, Mote opened its Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (IC2R3), including the Alfred Goldstein Institution for Climate Change Studies, at its longstanding Summerland Key campus. IC2R3s expands Mote’s scientific capabilities and coral restoration nursery space. Mandara has helped Mote’s Coral Reef Restoration Program grow and continue to increase its microfragment production to meet to scaled-up demand for restoring increasingly threatened reefs.

Attendees can learn more about Mote’s Coral Reef Restoration Program  — specifically, an in-depth view of the microfragmentation process in Mote’s land-based nursery and the outplant processes in local nurseries.

No RSVP is required. The lecture will start promptly at 5 p.m. Divers Direct is located at 535 Greene Street, Key West, FL 33040. For questions, contact Allison Delashmit, Florida Keys Community Relations Manager, at or (305) 509-9141. For future dates, visit