The sky is falling, the sea is rising and everything in between is in danger of being overrun by rabid Sphinx moths living in abandoned church steeples.
Everywhere you turn, it’s doom and gloom. Our information sources in today’s world are dominated by sensationalism. And “Why not?” It’s a sure way to gain attention. As humans, we are conditioned to be aware of objects and events that may cause a potential threat. It follows then that we are drawn to the negative. The eventual consequence of this conditioned response is that we become consumed by fear and drama even though we may be standing in a field of flowers with hummingbirds and butterflies dancing all around us.
The point is that we need to look around a little more to realize that, in spite of the challenges, there are a lot of good things happening in today’s world. For example, during the last few years, most of what we hear is about the disaster of the ongoing plight of our seas. But, while it is true that the impacts of humanity have stressed the oceans in many ways, it is also true that great progress is being made on many levels to change destructive conditions and behavior patterns.
We are fortunate to live in an age where science, technology and communication are tools powerful enough to allow us to restore the beauty and sustainability of our waters on a global scale. In places where forward thinking governments and agencies have encouraged these technologies to be applied, companies, practioners and biologists working together have already made great strides in every aspect of the field of marine ecosystem restoration.
In the field of coral restoration, new ideas and practices are speeding up recovery times exponentially. Using artificial stimulation, some corals can be induced to spawn at greater frequency rates. The fertilized spawn can be collected and the resulting larvae transferred to nurseries or areas where conditions are conducive to maximize survival rate. This discovery alone has given us a greater sense of hope for creating replacement corals on a scale and in a time-frame that is practical.
In another new development, there are now established Coral Farms where selective corals are raised in huge numbers over relatively short periods of time. This allows for the transplanting of thousands of new healthy coral colonies every day.
New technologies in building and placing artificial reef structures are being developed using materials that are stable, non-toxic, and specifically designed as ideal coral larvae attachment substrate. Using these as starting platforms is changing the rate at which sustainable marine ecosystems can be reestablished.
Stronger, more resultant strains of some of our most valuable reef-building corals have been developed and the methodologies used are being shared to coral restoration programs world-wide.
The impact of these rapid developments is starting to be recognized on a global scale. In spite of fear-based restrictions and hesitant actions or inactions by administrative regulators, these scientific discoveries and technologies are making an undeniable positive effect wherever they are allowed to be practiced.
Here at Coral Restoration Panama, we are proud of the results we have achieved in our demonstration “proof-of-concept” project. In a place that was once a coral graveyard, where only empty cans and plastic trash flourished, there are now living, growing corals, tropical fish and protected areas where fish and other marine life can live and thrive. We want to continue a policy of bringing you only good news as we expand our capabilities and knowledge. One of our goals this year is to place an underwater camera on one of our test sites so you can check in at anytime and see what we do and enjoy the results of our efforts. Stay tuned, I will keep you informed as we go forward.