The Only Animal That Has Built A Structure Visible From Space
What Are Corals?
They are colonial organisms made of thousands of individual animals called polyps. Each polyp has a mouth surrounded by a whorl of tentacles.
What About Algae?
Corals live with symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae, present within their tissues. The polyps provide protection for zooxanthellae that give in return energy to the hosts through photosynthesis.
how do corals eat?
Corals mostly feed from within, from the food created by their symbiotic algae or by capturing food that drift by their polyps' tentacles.
How Do Coral Reefs form?
Polyps are able to transform seawater into a house of calcium carbonate, their permanent skeleton. The polyps all build their houses of calcium next to each other, expanding colonies like an underwater city.
Coral Reefs support the world
of marine life call coral reefs their home, while covering less than 1% of the ocean floor.
Scientists estimate that 50-80% of the oxygen produced on Earth comes from the ocean and organisms such as the symbiotic algae living inside corals.
people worldwide directly rely on the reef for food, income, coastal protection and more.
is generated each year by tourism directly related to coral reefs.
Coral Reefs are dying
When the seawater temperature rises, it upsets the symbiosis between the coral polyp and the algae that nourishes it. Just like when you get a fever, the polyp fights back by expelling the algae, leaving the coral deprived from its main source of food. The coral slowly starves and turns white as a result, exposing its bright mineral skeleton. Not all is lost: if the water temperature gets back to normal, the coral can survive. If not, it will die. The warmer our climate gets, the more stressed our coral reefs become, and ultimately disappear forever.
But there Is a way to Change the Tide!
Super corals might just hold the key to create a reef ready to take on the future. These corals have proven to survive rising water temperatures and bleaching events in the ocean, and should go on to spawn.
Here’s what happens when you adopt a super coral!
How We Find Them
During the last bleaching event we surveyed the entire reef, marking every colony that was resisting bleaching with a GPS marker. We continued surveying the reef so we would know which corals survived the rising temperatures, while most others couldn’t. We selected those ones to grow in our nurseries.
How We Fragment
With a chisel and cutting pliers, we carefully cut small fragments out of the colony. Each time, no more than 10% of the colony is collected to ensure the continued survival of the colony. We take the fragments back to our nurseries where we create an undisturbed environment for them to grow.
How We Care
The fragments are placed on ropes, cookies, or trees in our nurseries where they can grow. We continue to monitor the sites effectively - cleaning the super corals with brushes, fixing the ropes or anything else that is needed.
How We Plant
Once the fragments of corals are grown enough, we carefully trim them with a chisel or a pair of pliers. We are able to cut 2 or 3 fragments out of each coral. Then we place these corals on a degraded site (either we have removed algae or on a completely empty area) and fix them with marine cement.