30 April 2019, Willemstad – Non-profit organization Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao (CRFC) celebrates it’s 4th Anniversary this May by out planting its 6000th coral onto Curaçao’s reefs.
Since 1970s there has been an enormous decline in the population of two coral species (Staghorn and Elkhorn) which are crucial for shallow water reef systems. Now, in 2019, there is only 3% of these critically endangered species left. Reasons for this decline include (but are not limited to) coral disease, coastal development and climate change.
CRFC takes fragments of these corals and grows them underwater on coral trees in their nurseries. Once the fragments are mature enough, they are out planted to different sites around Curaçao. These out planted clusters not only improve the health of the reefs but also increase fish populations in the area.
These coral nurseries can be seen by snorkeling or diving off the beach at LionsDive Beach Resort, Avila Beach Hotel, Marie Pompoen and Atlantis Diving. Plans to build a new nursery near Fuik Bay with the help of high school students in May are underway as well. Since CRFC started in May 2015, the foundation has 38 nursery trees in total, growing more than 2000 corals on them.
The goal is to have 10,000 corals out planted around the island by 2020 which will be a clear positive step towards restoring the reefs of Curaçao to what they used to be.
“The results are so amazing, that it makes you think that we can definitely make a difference, one coral at a time” said Nolo Ambrosi, Chairman of CRFC. “The work we do would not be possible without the support from private donors, corporate sponsors and local volunteers. We are extremely grateful for all of their involvement”.
It is important to highlight to visitors of Curaçao that as an island we are playing an active role in saving the oceans and developing our ecotourism offer as well. CRFC will be speaking at the CHATA member meeting on 29 May to provide more information about our current work. If you would like to see the nurseries for yourself and the positive impact we have created, please contact, Katie Leeper email@example.com