Chloe is over the moon as her hard work has come to fruition in the form of Coral Nurseries. Read on as she regales us with glee her plans for these rescued fragments.
"Our coral nurseries are now underwater and our colonies are doing great! It took us almost 20hrs of work over 5 days for the coral collection and the nursery set-up. The coral collection and attachment on the structures were done by snorkeling and the nurseries were then attached to the cement block at 10m by diving. I am very proud of the work we've conducted, and I thank so much everyone that helped with the nurseries without who it wouldn’t have been possible, and especially to Aisha and Richard who were here to support Savi and me on our long sessions of field work! That was great work and thanks to everyone’s patience and commitment, we did it! We now have 444 small coral colonies of Acropora, Porites and Stylophora peacefully growing on their nurseries. I now have to measure their growth from digital pictures taken with an underwater camera. Pictures of side and top views of each colony are then analyzed on computer with a software enabling to estimate the height, length and width. This work is going to be conducted every month to calculate their growth rate. In order to have scaled photographs of the colonies, Savi, Richard and I have constructed a stick that we can fix on the camera underwater case holding a ruler for the scale which I have to say I’m very proud of! And who would have known, the Acropora and Porites corals have already begun to grow over the cable ties they are fixed to! How exciting it is knowing that it’s been only 2 weeks after being cut and settled in the nurseries! Furthermore, the Porites have already healed from their cut section and no longer show white scars! This means that they have handled the stress of the experiment manipulation quite well and is a positive omen for their future. We try keep our nurseries as clean as possible by cleaning them at LEAST twice a week with toothbrushes as the sedimentation and fouling rate are quite high. We intend to perform environmental monitoring of the temperature, light intensity, sedimentation and hydrodynamics in order to know more precisely in what kind of environment the corals are growing in. Next month, I hope we will be able to begin our reef ecological assessment with transects and quadrats enabling to estimate the different benthic category as hard coral cover, rubble, sand, rock, etc. The quadrat method will generate more detailed information, such as the genus or even species level of coral and algae. So we’ll soon be able to tell you more about the reef were intend to restore!
To be continued … "
A massive round of applause to all parties involved and here's to all of those little nubbins silently growing and making us proud conservationist parents.