Coral Reef Restoration in Akumal, Mexico
Since 2014 Expedition Akumal have been rescuing dying fragments of the iconic Staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, and planting them into underwater coral nursery sites to help them to recover. Staghorn coral was once thriving on the Caribbean coral reefs. Until recent years it formed the very base of the coral reefs here, along with it´s close relative the Elkhorn coral. These species of the Acropora family are particularly important to the function of the ecosytem because the protect reef fish from predation, acting as ´nests´ for juveniles . As the fastest growing hard coral in the Caribbean, it is the perfect species for our coral reef restoration work.
Staghorn coral provides a crucial habitat for reef fish and other organisms, as well as absorbing wave action to protect the coastline.
Here in the Caribbean, proactive conservation is essential to repair the damage to coral reefs over recent decades. Changes to the environment, increased development and exploitation of the natural resources are all factors contributing to the decline in coral and the changes to the marine ecosystem seen today. Coral reef restoration is a way to re-populate the coral reefs in a natural way.
Our efforts to rescue these fragments have shown incredible results. 95% of our fragments have survived and are showing signs of new growth. We aim to continue rescuing fragments and to propagate the stock by a process of fragmentation. Just as a gardener might do with certain plants, we can ´clip´ staghorn into smaller pieces, and each one will make a clone of it´s parent.
This strain of the native staghorn population will be grown in our coral nurseries, eventually being transplanted back onto the reef. This kind of technology has been tried and tested in other parts of the world, and has shown to be highly successful. Within a short amount of time our work can make a big difference to the coral reef health.
Watch this to learn more
Expedition Akumal are a team of dedicated underwater enthusiasts, and professional divers. Our love for the reef is what motivates us.
Who are we?
Expedition Akumal are a team of dedicated underwater enthusiasts, and professional divers. Our love for the reef motivates us. Find out more about the Expedition Akumal Team Here.
We work for free and we rely upon your donations. If you wish to support us we gratefully receive donations via paypal Here or in person at our science office in the Hotel Akumal Caribe, find us on this map
The Akumal Coral Restoration Project is in its embyonic stages. We will keep you posted with important updates as soon as they happen. Until then, please take a look around our website, check out our photo and videos and contact us for more info!!