Scientists’ stop-gap plan to save coral reefs

This article discusses ways to try to rebuild coral reefs.

Vaughan: “Most corals the size of a basketball may be as much as 25 to 100 years old. And ones the size of a small car would be a few hundred years old.”

Researcher David Vaughan of Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory, says in addition to growing slowly, corals reproduce infrequently. So as oceans warm, many corals are dying faster than they’re being naturally replaced.

About 10 years ago, Vaughn mistakenly broke a coral in his lab. Each tiny fragment regrew quickly. He realized that breaking corals into small pieces could be a new way to help restore coral reefs.

Vaughan: “We can now produce 600 to 1,000 corals a day, and in just a few months they’re ready to plant back to the sea. We can bring back to life a 50 to 100-year-old coral head in just one to two years.”

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