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Raising Coral Costa Rica – A human-coral symbiosis

Conservation
Golfito

Works to build resilient and healthy coral reefs in Costa Rica, which are essential to marine life, fisheries, tourism, and our connection with nature.

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Raising Coral Costa Rica is a nonprofit group dedicated to the restoration of coral reefs in Costa Rica. Many coral reefs have been damaged by pollution and climate change.  Through our work, we aim to restore coral reef ecosystems as well as the human connection with nature.  We grow corals in underwater nurseries and plant them on damaged coral reefs to help speed up their natural recovery.  We work closely with the local communities, to understand their needs, educate them on marine ecosystem, and to develop strategies to help them sustain livelihoods by engaging and employing them in reef restoration.  Our work consists of four main activities:

Nurseries:  Our underwater nursery consists of structures where we test rapid growth methods of coral species from Golfo Dulce.  Each structure holds about 100 coral fragments.   After 6-10 months the corals are large enough for outplanting.

Coral Outplanting:  Corals are outplanted in at various test reef sites in Golfo Dulce. We restore in local patches of 20-200 corals, to determine the optimal coral density for successful long-term restoration.

Monitoring: Continuous temperature sensors are deployed at the nursery and at all outplant sites.  We not only monitor the long-term health of outplanted corals but also keep track of their effect on the reef ecosystem by conducting surveys of fish and invertebrates before and after coral restoration.

Working with local communities:  Restoring coral reefs benefits local communities, particularly when they are actively engaged in the effort.  We plan to train people from local communities in coral propagation and coral planting, so that they can draw income from responsible reef tourism.  We also plan to distribute a new children’s book “Los Corales Mágicos” to as many local schools as possible.  The book was written by the famous Costa Rican author, Lara Rios, who was inspired by our project to spark kids’ imaginations about the wonders of ocean life.

Our objective

Our 2-year objective is to scale up our coral restoration work, and to train local people to be coral restoration workers and guides.

The Raising Coral Team

Our team includes leading scientists in coral reef ecology and restoration, as well as an investment manager with a strong track record in finance and business.

  • Joanie Kleypas, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA
  • Tatiana Villalobos, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • José Andrés Marin Moraga, Universidad Nacional Costa Rica
  • Alvaro Teran, Entrepreneur and Kairos Investments
  • Juan José Alvarado, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Jorge Cortés, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • David Vaughan, Director of Mote Marine Lab’s Coral Restoration program in the Florida Keys

We also receive impassioned and in-kind support from local hotels, captains, government officials, and fisherman, all of whom we also consider part of our team.

Thousands Needs

Amigos of Costa Rica is supported by
the CRUSA Foundation

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