Workshop to Advance the Science & Practice of Caribbean Coral Restoration

Coral reefs are undergoing deterioration at an unprecedented rate, to the point that their very persistence is in question in many locations and species composition is changing dramatically. Meanwhile over the past 15 years, propagating nursery-grown corals for tropical reef restoration has become increasingly commonplace. Historically, active coral restoration took place in response to acute local disturbances (e.g. port expansion, ship groundings); however, increasingly, it is being used as a tool to ameliorate overall reef decline.

While active coral restoration is a critical part of reef recovery, to be successful during this time period of massive transformation, it needs to be conducted hand in hand with scientific experimentation. The community of coral restoration practitioners and scientists has reached a critical juncture where a face-to-face exchange of information is necessary as each of these groups tries to keep pace with the fast-paced changes in coral reef ecosystem dynamics.

The goal of this workshop is to foster collaboration and technology transfer among coral restoration scientists, practitioners, and managers, and initiate a community of practice that continues to address the evolving role of active coral restoration in the evolutionary history of coral reef ecosystems.

The workshop will consist of three days of talks, group discussions, breakout sessions, and social events for participants to meet each other and connect. The cross-pollinating talks will foster a spirit of collaboration among scientists and practitioners. Practitioners will learn about recent scientific advances in coral biology that may help them plan and experiment with coral restoration. Scientists will hear about successes and failures in recent coral restoration projects, inspiring future research to help advance the practice of coral restoration.

Workshop Recommendations

Recommendations from the Workshop to Advance the Science and Practice of Caribbean Coral Restoration

The developing Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC) is now online as part of the Reef Resilience Network.

Check there for updates, watch webinars, and for more information on joining the CRC.


Participants include coral restoration practitioners and scientists who research relevant aspects of coral biology. Attendees and presenters will be from NOAA, other domestic and international agencies, NGOs, nursery operations, and universities.

Session Topics
  • Big ideas in coral restoration
  • Translating coral science into restoration practice
  • Scaling-up in-water nurseries
  • Land-based nurseries
  • Larval propagation
  • Scaling-up outplanting
  • Optimizing site selection
  • Monitoring for ecosystem recovery
Workshop Objectives
  • Transfer scientific research into actionable restoration techniques and foster the participation of nurseries in cutting-edge research
  • Transfer technical knowledge from experienced to budding nursery operators
  • Begin charting a course to scale up coral restoration activities to the level of reef ecosystem recovery
  • Initiate a community of practice