Coral Reef Restoration in the Caribbean

Global Cruises recently attended the launch of One Million Corals for Colombia. The multimillion-dollar regrowth program will work with local communities to repair and rebuild decimated coral reef systems in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Colombia’s reefs, like most others across the globe, have undergone substantial bleaching in recent years mainly due to skyrocketing sea temperatures. The corals, which fringe the tropical coastlines, atolls, and remote islands of the South American nation, play a vital role in everything from supporting fish and marine life to protecting low-lying shorelines from threats of hurricanes or tropical storms.

Through the program, the nation’s coast will house thirteen coral gardens. Dozens of fishermen, local technicians, and individuals from area NGOs and dive centers will participate. One hundred thousand branching corals will be propagated from underwater rope, while some nine hundred thousand fragments of encrusting coral species will be grown in fixed nursing tables.

The program’s goals are ambitious: improve coastal protection, expand fishery production, reestablish reef systems, and reverse marine life population decline. While the initiative is localized, the benefits of sustaining coral reefs are widespread and affect billions of people across the globe. Without our reefs, the world’s fish stock will inevitably collapse. The project also has the potential to kickstart an eco-tourism revolution, something that has incredible opportunities and an idea that needs embracing on a much grander scale in the future.

The program is an opportunity to launch a new kind of travel when global travel needs to change. Tourism needs to become sustainable, and sustainable tourism needs to focus on conservation programs that bring travelers and locals together for the benefit of communities and the environment. One Million Corals for Colombia is backed by Conservation International, Corales de Paz, the Colombian Ministry of Environment, and other sustainability organizations. The program is a must in all coastal regions. Let’s embrace it!