VIDEO: Aramco extends its marine environmental commitment by ‘Caring for Coral’ in U.S. waters
Grants go toward efforts to generate groundbreaking science and innovative thinking around coral ecosystem health.
Aramco Americas has joined the U.S. National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through its Coral Reef Conservation Fund to support grants helping to restore the health and resilience of coral reefs in U.S. waters.
Unlike restoring wetlands or forests, coral reef restoration is a relatively new science. The future of coral reefs requires collective action by partners and will generate groundbreaking science and innovative thinking around coral ecosystem health and resilience-based management.
Watch how Aramco Americas support is contributing to the largest coral restoration project ever attempted in U.S. history.
Keri O’Neil, program manager and senior scientist at the Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation.
“I fell in love with the ocean going on summer trips with my parents to Florida, seeing all of the corals and fish.
“The first coral restoration project I ever worked on, I was planting corals on that same reef where I used to snorkel as a kid.
“Elkhorn coral used to be very prevalent. There’s only about 200 individuals left in Florida. So, a big focus of Mission Iconic Reefs is to restore this species in particular. “
Ellen Bolen, director of Marine and Coastal Conservation for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
“Mission Iconic Reef is a partnership to restore seven iconic sites along Florida’s coral reef. The scale of this restoration is monumental and it’s going to take many partners like Aramco to make this vision possible.
“Aramco came to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with an interest in biodiversity and innovation in the conservation space."
“Funding gives us the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions. A lot of people don’t understand what a coral even is. Most people don’t even realize they’re animals.
“Once the corals die off, the whole reef begins to collapse around them. There may be children that will never see a healthy coral reef in Florida and that worries me.
“We have to act now. We have to think outside the box. This is a really innovative laboratory.
“In the tank behind me is a specially designed aquarium system that mimics all of the natural cues that a coral would get in the wild to induce it to spawn. There’s no feeling like it to watch a coral go from the day it was born here in our lab to growing in our greenhouses and then watching it go out into the ocean.
“A lot of the work we do just hasn’t been done before. I hope the work that we are doing can keep the species going and give us a real chance to build a healthy coral reef back in Florida and inspire future generations to protect it."