30 Jan Adopt-A-Coral Program: First Year Update

Over the last several years, reefs along the northern coast of Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA) have suffered from widespread coral breakage.  The cause of this coral breakage are due to irresponsible marine tourism, disease, coral bleaching and aquaculture. In 2020, CTC conducted an ecological assessment and found that there are remaining patches of intact reef in Ped Village that show signs of resilience. The resilience of coral reefs in the area, makes it an ideal site for a coral rehabilitation project.

Together with our partner,  Kelompok Nuansa Pulau, CTC’s Adopt-a-Coral program was launched in December 2020 in a new site. Since then, we have received a number of adopters who were interested in supporting our coral rehabilitation program and we have planted 433 baby corals in our nursery.

Our Adopt-a-Coral Program uses the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS) method, which entails the use of a continuous web of “Reef Stars” that helps to cover barren coral rubble fields and gaps between the remaining live coral on the reef. The adopted corals were transplanted into the substrate where the fragments will then grow into coral reefs. Within 12 months, we have installed 29 Reef Stars in our site in Ped Village. These Reef Stars filled with 15 coral fragments each, have covered and restored 20,3 square meters of destroyed reefs and have brought back marine life in an area that was formerly filled with rubble.

Routine monitoring and conduct regular maintenance of the area were conducted by the community. The regular maintenance including periodic removal of algae and ensuring the integrity of the Reef Star structure. These activities have a positive impact towards the rehabilitation efforts. It will help to reduce the potential for algae growth that is a competitor for space with the corals. With the routine monitoring and maintenance, we are happy to report a 100% survival rate for our baby coral fragments.

Our Adopt-a-Coral program illustrates how a well-managed local coral restoration program can succeed. In addition also to ecological rehabilitation, the project also provide socio-economic benefits to the local community through a direct employment, training, and other outreach activities.

Visit our website https://www.coraltrianglecenter.org/adopt-a-coral/ to know more about the program and adopt your own baby coral!

Photo credit: Kasman/CTC

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