Coral fragments planted at reefs off Florida Keys
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Environmentalists and federal officials have started planting more than 60,000 fragments of nursery-raised coral at reefs off of the Florida Keys.
On Tuesday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that workers have started the three-year long project at Eastern Dry Rocks Sanctuary Preservation Area near Key West.
“Outplanting at this unprecedented scale is one of many immediate actions needed to address the rapid decline in our treasured coral reefs,” acting NOAA Administrator Ben Friedman said in a statement.
The area houses a concentration of bank reef habitats that are important to the Florida Keys, according to officials.
The corals were grown in nurseries over 6 to 8 months.
Herbivores will be reintroduced to the ecosystem to serve as natural grazers, in later stages of the project.