Disney Conservation Fund to support CCMI’s coral gardening

| 08/01/2016
Cayman News Service

Staghorn coral fragments secured to PVC tree in Little Cayman nursery (Photo courtesy of CCMI)

(CNS): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) has been awarded a US$25,000 grant from the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) to support CCMI’s efforts to regenerate and restore the ecologically important but critically endangered staghorn coral in Little Cayman. Since the Little Cayman coral nursery was established in 2012, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment has approved five dive operators for similar nursery projects.

“CCMI is sharing its best practices and lessons learned about coral gardening with the new nursery managers so that we can all have a long-term positive impact on this important coral species,” said Dr. Kristi Foster, CCMI’s assistant director of research.

“The grant provided by the Disney Conservation Fund will support workshops and training related to nursery management, coral propagation, and returning nursery-reared colonies to the wild.”

Support from Disney will also help CCMI develop a storm-refuge protocol to protect the nursery corals in case of a hurricane and to determine the optimal depth range for outplanting coral to native reefs.

The Disney Conservation Fund focuses on protecting wildlife and connecting children with nature. Since being founded in 1995, DCF has provided more than US$30 million to support conservation programmes in 115 countries, which study wildlife, protect habitats, and develop community conservation and education programmes in critical ecosystems.

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Category: Donations, Marine Environment

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