- Explores and develops market-based solutions.
We seek to restore coral reefs by developing a network of international not for profits (Coral Restoration Network “CRN”) that leverage eco-tourism to provide market-driven, sustainable economic models to support coral reef restoration.
Photo taken in Bonaire in June, 2013 at the start of out-planting coral from nurseries. One of Coral Reef Foundation's Florida volunteers is cementing live nursery-grown staghorn coral onto coral rock. Note how small the corals are at the start of the program. Bonaire was the first international site for CRF.
Great progress has been made planting coral in Bonaire. This photo taken in June, 2016 on a Foundation site visit. It shows the growth of staghorn coral on a sand bottom. One of the problems encountered was that former reefs have become ground into rubble and sand, leaving little hard surface for anchoring nursery-grown coral. In response, steel frames were driven into the bottom to hold planted coral in place. Over time the frames will begin rusting away as the coral forms thickets growing into the bottom.
The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) Board of Directors officially approved a license agreement that allows CRFI to use CRF's logo, trademarks, methods, etc. in international areas.
CRFI negotiated legal agreements with CRF Bonaire and CRF Curacao for these affiliates to become official "Network Partners" of the CRFI System.
The CRFI leadership team held a meeting with the CEO from CARIBSAVE, our partner in Jamaica, to discuss finalizing an agreement to allow CARIBSAVE to establish CRF Jamaica and become a CRFI "Network Partner."
CRFI assembled and delivered Nursery Tree Kits to expand coral nurseries in Curacao (five trees) and Jamaica (20 trees).
CRFI assembled and shipped a Demonstration Nursery Tree Kit (three trees) to Saba Island in advance of Ken Nedimyer's participation in Saba Island's "Sea & Learn" educational program. Dive shops and the Marine Park on Saba Island are considering development of a coral nursery and restoration program.
The CRFI website has been upgraded and is now capable of accepting donations and individual memberships.
CRFI has posted dozens of updates, videos, and photo albums on social media. Supporters on Facebook have grown to over 800 that "liked" the CRFI page.
Our affiliate, CRF Curacao, received donations from Curacao Airport Holding (9000 Guilders) and Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao ($5,000).
Our affiliate, CRF Bonaire, added a new member, Eden Beach Resort, and constructed a new five-tree nursery in front of the Eden Beach Resort.
The CRFI team returned to Jamaica in September to build a second coral nursery as part of our partnership with the Sandals Foundation and CARIBSAVE. We installed a 12-tree nursery in the Boscobel Fish Sanctuary with the assistance of the Beaches Ocho Rios Watersports staff and the Boscobel Fish Sanctuary Wardens. The trees were stocked with 1,063 coral fragments, which included seven genotypes of Elkhorn coral (Acropora Palmata) and five genotypes of Staghorn coral (Acropora Cervicornis). CRFI is planning a return trip to Jamaica later this year to expand the two existing nurseries, conduct maintenance, and begin outplanting nursery-raised coral.
CRFI received payment from Turquoise Bay Resort in Roatan, Honduras, for the equipment and materials necessary to construct two 10-tree nurseries in Roatan. CRFI will build one nursery on Roatan's north coast near Turquoise Bay Resort and its Subway Watersports Center, and one nursery will be constructed on the south coast near the site of a coral relocation project established during the expansion of the Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship dock. Both sites have received permit approval from the government of Honduras. The materials have been assembled and will be shipped in early October with plans to begin work in late November in Roatan.
Tripp Funderburk, CRFI's Director of Operations, continued training with Ken Nedimyer on coral nursery and coral planting operations and completed more than 50 training dives in CRF's nurseries and outplant sites.
CRFI has analyzed, categorized and developed priority targets from the listing of all the resorts, tourist boards, and travel specialists from the Caribbean that are attending the November DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association) convention in Orlando. CRFI has reserved seminar space at DEMA for the official announcement of the CRFI Network and the CRFI Membership Program.
CRFI partnered with the Anguilla Department of the Environment on a grant request from the Darwin Fund to develop a coral restoration project in Anguilla.
CRFI and CARRIBSAVE have discussed strategy for requesting funding from the European Union's recently announced "Best 2.0" initiative.
CRFI applied to join the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean.
Six Month Progress Report - CRFI
2015 was a year of growth for CRF-International. The groundwork laid by CRFI demonstrated that coral restoration work can be done effectively on an international scale and that the projects should be integrated into CRF's overall program and management. This February, CRF's Board of Directors approved a 5-year Strategic Plan that includes developing an international program within CRF. Moving forward, CRF will operate as one organization sharing best practices for restoration, education, and scientific research that will benefit coral reefs in the Florida Keys, the Caribbean and beyond. The CRFI entity that was formed to manage the international program will wind down as CRF's international program is developed. During this internal transition, CRFI has continued to grow and identify new partners for coral restoration around the Caribbean.
CRFI staff attended the November DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association) convention in Orlando. During DEMA, CRF Bonaire and CRF Curacao signed Network Member Agreements to officially join the CRF Network. CRFI issued a press release and held a presentation to announce the two new CRF Network Members. More than 50 people attended the presentation. We generated substantial interest from many resorts and government officials from around the Caribbean. This interest led to discussions with officials from the Bahamas, Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, Cayman Islands, Belize, St. Lucia, Antigua, Kuwait, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and many other countries throughout the Caribbean and beyond.
The CRFI leadership team is continuing discussions with CARIBSAVE, our partner in Jamaica, regarding growing the program in the future. CARIBSAVE is interested in establishing a larger restoration program in Jamaica and potentially expanding the model to other locations around the Caribbean.
In October, Ken Nedimyer traveled to Saba to participate in the annual “Sea and Learn” program. Students and dive operators joined staff from the Saba Marine Park to learn about CRFI’s restoration program. They are interested in restoring shallow water coral species and are considering the development of a coral nursery and restoration program. Ken worked with the various groups to build a three-tree nursery stocked with corals that were going to be affected by a harbor dredging project. We are developing a proposal to provide a long-term coral restoration program on Saba.
Later in October, a CRF team traveled to Mustique to service their coral nursery and also to St Lucia to evaluate starting a new program on that island. The nursery in Mustique is doing well, with some of the staghorn corals growing by as much as 3,000% in seven months (5 cm to over 150 cm). The CRF team cleaned the nursery, completed an inventory of the corals, fragged many second-generation corals, and conducted outplanting on the house reef. In St. Lucia, the CRF team looked at two possible areas for nurseries and restoration work, one on the south coast and one on the west coast. Upon the request of a large St. Lucia resort, we submitted a proposal that would involve developing a long-term CRF program on the island.
CRFI is installing two 10-tree nurseries in Roatan, Honduras, from March 7th to 14th. CRFI will build one nursery on Roatan's north coast near Turquoise Bay Resort and its Subway Watersports Center, and one nursery will be constructed on the south coast near the site of a coral relocation project established during the expansion of the Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship dock. Both sites have received permit approval from the government of Honduras and nursery materials and equipment has been shipped to Roatan.
CRFI was approved to join the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean as an "Affiliate Institutional Member."
CRFI's project fits within the Walker Foundation's core tenets to seek free market approaches to provide ecosystem services and protect our environment. CRFI seeks to establish a "Membership Program" based on eco-tourism to generate revenues to fund financially sustainable coral reef restoration programs throughout the Caribbean and beyond.
CRFI works on an international level to help restore global corals reefs. We seek to develop a replicable Membership Program that will provide sustainable financing for desperately needed coral restoration programs around the world. We hope to teach local communities how to restore their local coral reefs, as well as help them build community-managed, non-profit organizations that leverage ecotourism to finance long-lasting coral restoration programs.
Project Link http://coralrestorationintl.org/
(Check sent: 7/13/2015)
Bonaire coral reef at about 40 foot depth. Bonaire was selected as the first international site because it has one of the healthiest remaining reefs in the Caribbean protected by a marine park funded by user fees. Deeper corals in cooler water remain relatively healthy. The out planting program aims to restore branching corals that once populated shallower waters and made Bonaire an exciting place to snorkel with schools of colorful fish.