FL Keys News
By Don Rhodes
With the help of several organization, including the Coral Restoration Foundation, thousands of small corals were rescued by being epoxied to the bottom or wedged into spurs, hard bottom or the reef framework; several hundreds of medium corals were “up-righted” or raised out of sand grooves, and approximately one hundred large corals were up-righted or wedged in a safe location.
A group of five Force Blue team members (special operations combat veterans trained in coral reef restoration) from Alaska, New York, New Jersey, Florida and the United Kingdom came to the Keys for eight days to help with the reef stabilization efforts.
The team’s Facebook page describes some of the team’s efforts in military “dispatch” format:
“Today, FORCE BLUE team alongside Coral Restoration Foundation went to the CRF Tavernier Coral Nursery located approximately 3 miles out from the shorelines of Tavernier, FL. The combined teams rebuilt coral trees that were lost or destroyed during Hurricane Irma. An astounding 500 new fragments of Staghorn Coral was 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.”