This project's main objectives were (1) acropora species restoration, (2) massive coral restoration, (3) sexual reproduction, (4) diadema relocation, (5) outreach & citizen science, (6) landscape mosaics, and (7) water quality. We propagated and planted 1,000 UM staghorn and 150 elkhorn colonies, as well as 100 FLAQ staghorn corals grown from larvae onto the 3 restoration plots at a density of ~ 5 Acropora colonies per square meter. A total of 751 colonies from massive coral taxa were outplanted as either clusters of small fragments or individual outplants . Post-outplanting, whole-colony survivorship ranged from 20% (Diploria labyrinthiformis) to 100% (Siderastrea siderea). For Diadema sea urchin restoration, we deployed forty urchins at each of the five relocation plots. After 1 month 61.5% of urchins were observed, and after 3 months, 62% of urchins remained within the deployment plots. These retention numbers far exceeded our expectations; data on algal abundance and micro-habitat selectivity are being analyzed and will be incorporated in Fall 2021. From September 2020 – April 2021 our team hosted or participated in 29 education and public outreach activities reaching 6,000+ individuals. These activities included virtual presentations, panel events, and lab tours that sought to raise awareness, support, and action for the conservation and restoration of Florida’s Coral Reef while highlighting the 100 Yards of Hope project. In addition to public outreach activities, the 100YOH project was featured frequently and prominently across all partners' social media platforms. Lastly, we hosted 2 citizen science coral restoration expeditions through our Rescue a Reef program. Underwater landscape mosaics were created at each plot in October, January, and May. The full-resolution orthomosaics are publically available online. We collected monthly temperature at each plot, and collaborated with scientists from NOAA's AOML to collect and analyze monthly water samples.
October 7, 2021 - 9:52am
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.