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Building a Better Coral

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Staghorn Coral

The Nature Conservancy has worked with a local aquarium supplier to develop a staghorn coral nursery in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
© Ken Nedimyer

Researchers are hoping to use the nursery to recharge declining coral reefs.
© Ken Nedimyer

Staghorn coral fragments in the nursery are growing new tissue.
© Ken Nedimyer

Researchers position the coral fragments at different depths to expose them to different temperatures.
© Ken Nedimyer

The researchers measure coral growth to find colonies that thrive in harsher conditions. These heartier corals will be reproduced.
© Ken Nedimyer

Conservancy staff and volunteers assemble “EcoReef” modules that will be deployed at restoration sites.
© Meaghan Johnson

The coral restoration project, one of the first of its kind, has already seen positive results: this staghorn coral was grown from fragments collected in the wild.
© Ken Nedimyer

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