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Emergency Response to Massive Coral Bleaching

by Corals for Conservation Vetted since 2014
Emergency Response to Massive Coral Bleaching


Corals died on a massive scale in 2015-16 due to hot waters, the worse global event in history and now in 2018 the bleaching has returned. In some places >90% of the corals have bleached and died. However, a few corals survived even in the hot water, but these "genetic treasures" are now being killed off by coral predators. The project involves communities in predator removal, creation of nurseries of resilient corals, and out-planting second generation bleaching resistant corals to reefs.

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The massive global coral bleaching crisis has worsened again in 2018, due to unusually hot waters from El Nino. In bleaching the corals lose their brown micro-algae and they usually starve to death. Without corals, the reefs provide poor fish habitat and communities suffer. In the mass bleaching of 2000 in Fiji, we saw that 10% of the corals did not bleach, but unfortunately these surviving corals were subsequently killed by over-abundant predators, such as crown of thorns starfish, COTS.


We have developed coral gardening techniques that are both effective and low cost, being featured on BBC and Discovery Channel, etc., and reported in the scientific literature. Working with communities we will conduct coral health workshops, and will begin a coral nursery program focusing on rescuing and cultivating fragments of the heat-adapted corals. We will also implement a parallel bounty program for removing the highly destructive and overabundant COTS, using them dried as chicken feed

Long-Term Impact

Communities will be empowered to save the lives of thousands of surviving corals that are resistant to warm water bleaching, but that can not survive the onslaught of over-abundant coral predators without help. These communities will restore patches of healthy corals to reefs by planting second generation climate-adapted corals of diverse species. Five villages in Fiji, or a total of 2,500 people, 2,000 people in Vanuatu, 700 on Christmas island Kiribati, and 3,000 in Tuvalu will benefit.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).


The is our Facebook web page
BBC TV interview with Dr. Austin, Coral Gardener
German TV program on the coral gardening project.
Our Belize program, run by Fragments of Hope

Organization Information

Corals for Conservation

Location: Samabula - Fiji
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Austin Bowden-Kerby
Samabula, Fiji
$33,839 raised of $50,000 goal
303 donations
$16,161 to go
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* This project is competing for a year long spot in the GlobalGiving Climate Fund
This project is competing for bonus prizes
through the 2019 Climate Fund Campaign. Terms and conditions apply.

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