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Coral Reef Restoration Organizations and Initiatives*

Institution or Initiative Headquarters Mission & Focus
Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS)
Offices in Darwin, Perth, and Townsville The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is Australia's tropical marine research agency, playing a pivotal role in providing large-scale, long-term and world-class research on the management of Australia's marine resources. AIMS is studying the evolutionary potential and adaptive mechanisms of key coral reef organisms to develop tools and approaches for enhancing coral reef resilience on the Great Barrier Reef. This involves understanding if and how these organisms can become more tolerant to environmental stress, and the magnitude and rate of such adaptive responses in relation to the pace of environmental change.
Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI)
Caribbean region This initiative (managed by the Nature Conservancy and its global partners) involves a collaboration between eleven countries and territories across the Caribbean region on an unprecedented scope. The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) provides signatory countries with the long-term support needed to achieve their CCI commitments. CCI countries agree to:
1. Conserve at least 20% of their nearshore environments by 2020—effectively tripling marine protected area coverage in the region.
2. Ensure that conserved areas are effectively managed into the future through a reliable, long-term finance structure.
Corales de Paz
Cali, Colombia Corales de Paz (Corals for Peace) is a Colombia-based organization that encourages members of the recreational diving community to become participants in the monitoring, protection, and recovery of coral reefs. Its work is focused in four key areas: participatory reef monitoring, scaling-up coral reef restoration, reef science, and the responsible use of coral reefs.
Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL)
Oakland, CA, USA CORAL is an environmental NGO with a mission to save the world's coral reefs. It collaborates with communities to reduce direct threats to reefs in ways that provide enduring benefits to both people and marine life. CORAL is actively working to broaden scientific understanding of how corals adapt to climate change and to apply that knowledge to maximize the chance of reefs thriving for future generations to come. It aims to rally the conservation community around scalable and effective reef restoration efforts.
Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF)
Key Largo, FL, USA The impetus for founding the CRF—the world's largest coral reef restoration organization—was the catastrophic loss of the dominant coral species on the Florida Reef Tract. The CRF operates underwater nurseries where acroporid (staghorn and ellkhorn coral) colonies are cultivated on tree-shaped structures, a technique which emerged from years of testing and refinement. The CRF is committed to restoring a high level of genetic diversity in the wild coral populations it restores.
Coral Vita
Freeport, Bahamas Coral Vita creates technologically advanced coral farms for restoring reefs in a highly effective manner. Its scientific team has partnered with leading marine institutes, utilizing techniques to grow coral up to 50x faster while boosting their resiliency against the warming and acidifying oceans. After being cultivated to a target size, the farmed corals are transplanted back into degraded reefs. Coral Vita's farms also function as education centers for local communities as well as eco-tourism attractions.
Florida Reef Resilience Program (FRRP)
Florida Keys The FRRP brings scientists, reef managers, and the people whose livelihoods and recreational pursuits depend upon healthy coral reefs together to achieve a common goal. The program is designed to improve our collective understanding of coral reef resilience by exploring the biological and environmental aspects of reef health and by asking society what it most wants and needs from coral reefs. Nineteen partner organizations are involved in the program, including government agencies, NGOs, research institutions, and universities.
Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA)
Cambridge, MA, USA The GCRA is a small, non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and sustainable management of coral reefs. Its membership is comprised of volunteer scientists, divers, environmentalists and other individuals and organizations, committed to coral reef preservation. As a leader in protecting coral reefs within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, it works with island nations in building, restoring, and maintaining coral reefs, nurseries, and marine sanctuaries.
Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF)
Brisbane and Townsville, Australia The GBRF informs and educates people about what needs to be done to address the causes of coral reef degradation, including advising government and industry organizations. It takes practical action to fund work and innovative technologies from experts in Australia and beyond to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The GBRF is an independent NGO, with a Board comprised of representatives of Australian business, science, and philanthropy organizations.
Green Fins
Bristol, UK The Green Fins initiative aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkeling industry. Green Fins is coordinated internationally by The Reef-World Foundation in partnership with the UN Environment. The Green Fins approach encompasses three main aspects:
1. Internationally recognized environmental standards for the diving and snorkeling industry, based on a 15-point code of conduct.
2. Supporting in the development or strengthening of relevant regulatory frameworks.
3. Strategic outreach to, and capacity building among, diving and snorkeling centers as well as governmental agencies.
International Coral Reef Society (ICRF)
Composed of regional chapters around the world The ICRS promotes the acquisition and dissemination of scientific knowledge on a global scale to secure coral reefs for future generations. It is comprised of members from 67 countries, who include a broad range of researchers, educators, managers, students, communicators, and citizens. The ICRF sponsors symposiums and the exchange of technical information among peers involved in saving coral reefs. The Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC) is a recent chapter of the ICRS.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Project Regenerate iucn.org
Gland, Switzerland Project REGENERATE is a coral restoration project in the Maldives, a low-lying atoll nation in the Indian Ocean, whose reefs are at a high risk from the impacts of climate change. The Maldives has already been impacted by mass coral bleaching in 1998, 2010, and 2016 that killed a majority of shallow corals. The project is sponsored by the IUCN and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project seeks to help local communities and government to measure and understand the impacts of climate change, and to develop management strategies that build resilience, mitigate impacts and promote adaptation. Read more.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA Fisheries HQ: Silver Spring, MD, USA The Coral Reef Conservation Program leads NOAA's coral research, conservation, and restoration efforts. The program's strategic plan recognizes coral reef restoration as an important component of the program and focuses its efforts on four strategies:
1. Improving habitat quality for corals.
2. Preventing loss of corals and their habitat.
3. Enhancing coral population resilience.
4. Improving coral health and survival.
Plant a Million Corals Foundation
Summerland Key, FL This non-profit organization is a spin-off resulting from Dr. David Vaughn's ground-breaking work when he was the Executive Director of the Mote Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys. Now operating his own NGO, he is undertaking ambitious plans to leverage the micro-fragmentation process he pioneered to restore coral reefs around the globe.
Project Aware
Offices in Los Angeles, USA, Bristol, UK, and Sydney, Australia Project AWARE began as a project by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI®) in the late 1980s. The organization connects the community of divers and others who are passionate about restoring the health of the oceans with sound conservation policy goals. Project AWARE's objectives are implemented through two campaigns: Clean Oceans (focused on reducing trash and pollution) and Healthy Oceans (reducing overfishing and protecting vulnerable species, particularly sharks and rays.
Raising Coral Costa Rica
San José, Costa Rica Raising Coral Costa Rica is a nonprofit group dedicated to the restoration of coral reefs along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The organization aims to restore coral reef ecosystems as well as the human connection with nature. Raising Coral Costa Rica grows corals in underwater nurseries and then outplants them on damaged coral reefs to help speed up their natural recovery, while working closely with local communities.
Reef Ball Foundation
Athens, GA and Nokomis, FL, USA The Reef Ball Foundation is an international environmental NGO working to rehabilitate coral reefs. It pursues its mission of rehabilitating the world's reef ecosystems using modular, ball-shaped artificial reef substrates made of concrete, which it designs and manufactures. Reef Ball has placed over 1/2 million Reef Balls™ and conducted over 6,000 projects in over 62 countries. Their projects include artificial reefs, coral propagation and planting systems, estuary restoration, red mangrove plantings, oyster reef restoration, and erosion control.
Reef Check
Marina Del Rey, CA The mission of the Reef Check Foundation (RCF) is to help preserve the oceans and reefs which are critical to human survival, yet are being destroyed. The RCF has teams of volunteer citizen scientist divers in more than 90 countries and territories. who have been trained to survey the health of reefs around the world, using the results to improve the management of these natural resources.
Reef Renewal Bonaire
Kralendijk, Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire assists the recovery of deteriorated coral reef areas in Bonaire, using active coral restoration as a strategy to preserve and enhance the population of coral species. Its stated mission is to:
  • Develop new and innovative ways to restore reefs that are supported by research collaborations and shared worldwide.
  • Train, engage, and inspire the community locally and internationally through volunteering, educational events, and outreach.
  • Demonstrate that through community efforts there is still hope for coral reefs.
Reef Resilience Network (RRN)
Seattle, WA, USA Led by the Nature Conservancy, the RRN is a global network of more than 2,000 members, focused on capacity building for the effective management, protection, and restoration of coral reefs and reef fisheries around the world. The RRN connects reef managers with colleagues and experts, facilitating the sharing of technical approaches and strategies. It provides training and implementation support, supported by dozens of partners and Nature Conservancy staff, as well as experts from around the world who serve as trainers, advisors, and content reviewers.
Secore International (SI)
Hilliard, OH, USA SI is a nonprofit, tax–exempt US corporation dedicated to the large–scale restoration and protection of coral reefs through its Global Coral Restoration Project. It employs a multidisciplinary strategy that combines research, the development of novel tools, active reef restoration, education, and outreach for the conservation of coral reefs. SI has established a global network of scientists, public aquarium professionals, and local authorities, partners and stakeholders.

*Note: This is not an exhaustive list. It contains a number of selected organizations that have been prominent in the protection and restoration of coral reefs.

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