During October and early November 2017 FORCE BLUE joined the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) on a rapid response initiative in southern Florida to assess, triage and provide emergency restoration of reefs damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Hurricane Irma Response

(Fall 2017)

FORCE BLUE dispatched to the Tavernier Florida Coral Nursery, located approximately 3 miles out from the shoreline of Tavernier, FL, to search for coral that had been displaced due to Hurricane Irma.

Restoration

During this initial 8-day first phase deployment together with its partners NOAA and CRF, FORCE BLUE divers flipped displaced coral back into place; re-stabilized fragments of endangered Elkhorn Coral; collected an array of corals for cementation back onto the reef; and replaced trees in the nursery.

Reef recovery

Each tree holds 60 Staghorn corals and required substantial cleaning. An astounding 500 new fragments of Staghorn coral were replanted onto the coral trees in the nursery. In a couple months these corals will be ready to be harvested and taken to the reef.

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