Mote’s coral restoration efforts featured in National Geographic magazine, on ABC’s Good Morning America

The state of the world’s oceans and coral reefs, and how organizations like Mote are working to save them, takes center stage in advance of Earth Day

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s coral reef research and restoration efforts in the Florida Keys are highlighted in one of the feature stories of the May 2021 issue of National Geographic magazine, titled The Ocean Issue. The story “How coral reefs might survive climate change”, featuring photography from David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes, addresses the issues coral reefs face worldwide, but also the solutions that scientists are looking for to solve them. One major solution: Mote’s innovative microfragmentation and reskinning methodology that has allowed Mote to grow thousands of coral fragments on land before planting them onto the reef, stimulating rapid growth and recovery. To date, Mote has planted more than 100,000 fragments of coral along Florida’s Coral Reef. Also featured in the story is Mote’s latest breakthrough: the first restored massive corals spawning in the wild in Florida or the Caribbean.

In the story, Mote Senior Scientist Dr. Erinn Muller also describes another innovative aspect of Mote’s restoration strategy: resiliency. Mote coral genotypes are screened for resistance to coral disease and tolerance to increased water temperature and acidification. The ones that do the best are put into the “restoration pipeline.”

For more on this story, see the May issue of National Geographic magazine, The Ocean

To accompany the launch of the newest issue, Mote President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, was able to appear on ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss coral bleaching and Mote’s coral restoration methods. Crosby, describing microfragmentation, also added, “We can help stimulate the natural success of coral recruitment in the wild and help to restore coral reefs,” speaking to Mote’s successful restoration efforts.

Watch the full Good Morning America segment below.

A major part of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s mission, in addition to conducting world-class marine research, is sharing that research with the public through outreach and education in order to spread awareness of the challenges facing our oceans and to inspire the next generation of marine scientists and conservationists. For everyone that reads the latest issue of National Geographic or watches the segment on Good Morning America, we wish for them to feel inspired and hopeful that the innovative solutions to restore our coral reef are out there, and Mote Marine Lab won’t stop searching until our reef is restored to vital health.

The May issue of National Geographic magazine is a companion to The Disney+ original series, Secrets of the Whales, premiering on Earth Day. The three-year project will also be featured in the new National Geographic book, Secrets of the Whales, and is also the marquee event of National Geographic’s newest initiative, Planet Possible. Learn more at