Our amazing trip to Curaçao

For The Reef just returned (06/19/18) from a simply amazing trip to Curaçao.

The purpose of the trip was to deliver a donation to the amazing researchers at SECORE International. Founder of SECORE, Dr. Dirk Peterson was our host; here are some of the things we saw... 

Massive Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) - This monstourious Elkhorn was certainly not the norm, but nonetheless, completely inspiring to see this endangered species large and in charge!

But of course, on our journey, we saw a variety of degraded reefs littered with garbage, dead coral and cyanobacteria...

Garage, garbage, garbage - Human beings have a way of turning everything into a garbage can, don't they? But to us, this was a sign of a clear disconnect between the surrounding population and the natural environment. Education may be key here to show people that the coral reefs are not only beautiful but a true life system for their country and local communities. 

Okay back to the positive stuff... 

We saw first hand the incredible research SECORE is conducting and the power of sexual reproduction for coral reef restoration!

Seeding units and no choice assays...SCIENCE! - for this research project, 100 individual planula larva (coral babies) were put in a jar and allowed to settle onto these new seeding unit designs; the goal here is to see how many coral babies will attach onto each unique seeding unit design (don't worry, more details will come soon!). 

and finally, drum roll please...

For The Reef proudly presented SECORE with a donation of 12,500 USD to support coral outplanting efforts. We could not be more happy to partner with such an amazing group of researchers and we look forward to changing the fate of our planet's most critical aquatic ecosystem!