This Is How Divers Are Salvaging Damaged Corals and Building a New Reef in the Cayman Islands

by Owen James Burke

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George Town, Cayman Islands — A Carnival Cruise Ship recently butchered a beloved dive site (they never do anything good, do they?) after dropping its anchor and chain over precious reef, turning it into rubble. This is the sort of thing we put our heads into our laps and weep over, right? Well, behind what may sound like a tragic (though commonplace) accident, has actually generated a novel new concept that could probably have been developed with the introduction of marine epoxy. As of this weekend, an astounding 22,000 pounds of this “decimated” reef have been gathered and salvaged by volunteer divers.

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Now, milk crate by milk crate, a group of extremely dedicated volunteers are bringing the detached corals to a surviving portion of the reef, and working to literally glue a new reef together with a two-part marine epoxy. Who’d have thought?

The coral heads have been glued and appear to have set, and only time will tell whether or not they take. Still, it’s this kind of initiative that provides a glimmer of hope for habitat restoration and, more importantly, the inspiration to continue to strive towards solving such environmental crises, and not dawdle on what’s been lost.

Read more at Cayman 27 — OB

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