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Before-and-after photos reveal the stunning impact of coral reef restoration efforts: ‘Gives me hope for the future’

“Made me tear up a little.”

"Made me tear up a little."

Photo Credit: Instagram

An organization called Coral Gardeners recently posted a series of photos to its Instagram page of a coral reef the group is restoring off the coast of a South Pacific island. The photos track the progress of the restoration project from its beginning in 2021 to the current day.

Coral Gardeners (@coralgardeners) is, according to its website, “on a mission to revolutionize ocean conservation and create a global movement to save the world’s coral reefs through active reef restoration, awareness activities, and innovative solutions, developed by our CG labs.” The organization pursues this goal by crowdfunding restoration projects and selling merch.

The organization claims to have planted over 30,000 coral reefs and counting.

The one in the Instagram post is located in the waters of Tiaia in Mo’orea, an island in the South Pacific that is part of French Polynesia’s Society Islands archipelago. From the photos, it is plain that a lot of progress has been made over the last few years, with almost no coral in 2021 and quite a bit more in 2023. Coral Gardeners also recently posted photos of a similar nursery near nearby Pihae’ina.

The entire project consists of 12 nurseries that will yield approximately 4,200 super corals, according to Coral Gardeners. 

Coral reefs around the world are under threat because of the consequences of human-caused pollution. Reefs can be damaged directly by human activities such as fishing, dredging, and quarrying. They are also at risk from rising ocean temperatures and changing ocean chemistry. The changing chemistry can lead to algae and seaweed growth, both of which block out light that is necessary for coral reefs to survive.

And, like all marine life, coral reefs are harmed by the excessive amount of plastic waste that has made its way into our oceans.

While scientists around the world are trying various methods of saving the coral reefs, simply regrowing them, like Coral Gardeners does, is a boon to the fish and other sea creatures that rely on these reefs.

The Instagram page’s followers loved to see the progress of the restoration.

“Made me tear up a little,” wrote one commenter.

“Gives me hope for the future,” wrote another.

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