CCMI gets €258k grant to expand coral restoration

| 19/04/2022 | 6 Comments
CCMI’s coral restoration research

(CNS): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) has received a grant of €257,949 (CI$228,228) from RESEMBID, the same European Union-funded organisation that recently awarded a grant to the UCCI. The money for CCMI, which has a research facility on Little Cayman, will be used to expand its coral restoration research.

The Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID) supports sustainable human development efforts across the region.

This grant will help CCMI with its ongoing research into coral reef ecosystem resilience through assisted evolution and the restoration of stress-tolerant corals. The project will also support the wild coral reef ecosystems in Little Cayman.

A press release from CCMI said that during these times of unprecedented rapid environmental change, it is critical to understand the capacity of corals to adapt and acclimatize to new conditions.

CCMI has been refining restoration methods for ten years and is seeing greater success with outplanting techniques, the release said. The grant will support one of the longest-running empirically-based coral restoration research projects in the region.

Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, project lead and director of research and education at CCMI, said that investing in coral restoration is paramount for small island developing states (SIDS) that are reliant upon healthy reefs for protection, sustenance, and economic stability.

“Coral restoration, consisting of outplanting nursery-raised corals in order to rebuild reef structure and function, is an increasingly popular approach to confront local declines in coral abundance,” she said.

“The propagation and outplanting of nursery-grown corals has become so commonplace that coral restoration efforts are becoming capable of augmenting coral populations at ecologically meaningful scales. Scaling up in an efficient and cost-effective way is key to improving restoration practice… which in turn can contribute to both climate change adaptation and conservation strategy.”

This funding will build on CCMI’s past research, incorporating their understanding of coral restoration disease resistance and outplanting methodology, while conducting experimentation to assess thermal tolerance, all of which will be used to increase the resilience of coral reefs through advanced restoration practices.

Improved restoration strategies informed by the project will then be shared locally and regionally, which will ultimately seek to support the increase of coral resilience throughout the Caribbean.

The 18-month project will include visiting collaborator Professor John Bruno (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), who will provide key technical assistance for the project, expanding the project team’s knowledge and capacity for thermal tolerance experiments.

The outcomes will increase public awareness of the coral reef crisis and will contribute to tangible solutions to coral reef adaptation methods for reef managers throughout the region, including European/UK overseas territories.

Find out more about the CCMI’s Coral Restoration Project

The video below explains how the money will be used:


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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great

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  2. Orrie Merren says:

    Congrats to CCMI. This is great news and is an important and commendable project, which I wish all involved the very best with this noble endeavor. This is also in line with our Constitution’s fundamental right to protection of the environment (enshrined in s.18, Bill of Rights).

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Grand Turk was on this quite a while back, diving is a big part of why people visit GC. Not sure why it took this long…

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  4. That is great news for such a great group to continue their work restoring our precious corals.Hats off to all at CCMI.

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  5. Guido Marsupio says:

    Awesome news for a great organization. CCMI rocks!

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