Coral reef restoration efforts in Dominican Republic
SeaPro Divers Collaboration with Coral Mania 2019
by Mia Mariotti
Punta Cana- Coral Mania 2019 took place in November in an effort to restore the health of coral reefs in Punta Cana-Bavaro. A project led by Dominican Consortium Of Coastal Restoration, FUNDEMAR, The Nature Conservancy, and with the collaboration and support of various volunteers, including SeaPro Divers and the Water Sports Association of Bavaro.
During three days, dive professionals from the private and public sector planted 1,711 Acropora Cervicornis coral fragments, a species known as Staghorn Coral that is Critically Endangered.
According to NOAA, Acropora Cervicornis coral colonies have drastically decreased since the late 80’s as a result of climate change, coral disease, and unsustainable fishing practices. These fragments were returned to their natural environment to contribute to the restoration of coral reefs in the area of Punta Cana – Bávaro, one of the areas that is a critical economic contributor to the Dominican Republic’s tourism industry
Coral reefs play a vital role in local communities in the Caribbean, providing a resource for food, jobs, and coastal protection. Being useful in what we can through our support on coral reef restoration initiatives that help preserve the delicate environment for future generations gives excellent satisfaction and one of the ways in which SeaPro Divers contributes to our local community.
Along with more significant initiatives such as Coralmania, SeaPro Divers is a leader in local restoration efforts throughout Bavaro. Members of our dive team care for coral gardens and oversee the replanting efforts in one of the most critical coral reefs in Bavaro. With the help of our dive students and certified divers on vacation, our team has been able to replant more than 2,000 fragments of corals in the last five years.