Coral are the backbone of the whole tropical ecosystem and if they disappear we’re in a lot of trouble says Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. The pseudo-farmer has spent a lot of time in the water and has seen too many coral die, so he plants coral in an offshore nursery near the Florida Keys and replants them on reefs.

Nedimyer’s non-profit organization is helping to heal these important areas by growing and planting 20-25,000 healthy Staghorn, Elkhorn, Boulder Star, Mountainous Star, Blade Fire, and Pillar coral pieces a year, a process called coral aquaculture, coral farming or coral gardening. Their work is captured in the video above by Great Big Story.

They also work with Columbia, Jamaica, and other countries to expand this successful conservation endeavor, teaching and testing their outplanting and maintenance methods in other coral ecosystems.

Related reading online: Why are coral reefs important? and Are Corals Animals or Plants? Plus, this wonderful picture book: The Brilliant Deep — Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation.

Then watch Turning Oil Rigs Into Reefs, Coral Gardening in the South Pacific, Coral Spawning at Australia’s National Sea Simulator.

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