Coral Planting

This solution was addressed in several stories in our anthology such as The Caretaker, The Envelope, The Ocean, Oasis and Penang Fairhaven: A Visitor’s Guide. There are already projects around the world using this solution.

Our experts have classified this solution as ‘low hanging fruit’ (relatively low cost / quick win).

How does this solution rate on:

Climate impact: tonnes of carbon saved/removedCoral reefs are reported to be some of the most productive ecosystems on earth (although data on this is surprisingly thin) all reefs retained or restored will remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Climate adaptation-resilienceReefs are stressed by heating events and other external impacts.
Reefs that survive these demands will progressively evolve and adapt to the tougher conditions – as long as some corals survive.
Social justice i.e., addresses inequalities, diversity, inclusionLow-income coastal communities are often very dependent on their local reefs. Fishing controls, including traditional systems, can be effective at maintaining stocks
Cost of action needed to progress goalRestoring reefs is slow and requires a lot of sustained effort, which may be destroyed by the next hot pulse.

Costs can be significant and need to be supported long term.
Which location is the solution most needed/applicableThere are many tropical areas where there are existing reefs, and most of these are declining. Identification of adjacent fringe reef areas, and reef communities on man-made structures such as oil rigs should be recorded and monitored so that all necessary and appropriate help can be provided.
RiskIf reefs are lost, the impacts will be considerable. Every effort needs to be made to assist the reefs to adapt to the new prevailing conditions.
FeasibilityMany projects already exist, but progress is slow and limited. Artificial reefs in new areas around oil rigs and other structures may be a promising approach.

Do your own research on the solution

Nutrients can render corals more susceptible to heat stress: see article: ‘Impacts of nutrient enrichment on coral reefs: new perspectives and implications for coastal management and reef survival.’

Interested in progressing this solution further?

Actions for policymakers  Require communities adjoining reefs to take direct responsibility for their reefs, and provide funding to support this work.
Actions for funding bodies  Provide full funding for dozens of projects in multiple locations around the world.
Actions for business  Sponsor named reefs of large size and include a condition of the reef in the annual report   Develop industrial scale techniques for protecting substantial areas of coral reefs   Develop carbon credit equivalents for reef protection/restoration work
Actions for publicReduce all and every form of emission and consumption…
Find your government representative or Member of Parliament and email them, whether you are in Australia; Canada; UK; USA or elsewhere.
Social media campaigns & lobbying of governments.
Join campaigns such as about Surfers Against Sewage | Environmental charity tackling plastic pollution (