Verdant Isle plans to significantly increase the overall cover and diversity of corals around Grand Cayman through a long-term partnership with Dr David Vaughan and the Plant a Million Corals Foundation.
The Plant a Million Coral Foundation utilises the coral gardening method, called micro-fragmenting, to increase coral cover. Coral gardening involves fragmenting (cutting off small pieces) of healthy coral and growing them until they reach a healthy size to outplant (plant onto reef).
Dr Vaughan’s groundbreaking discovery is that through the process of micro-fragmentation, rapid growth of corals and healing happen at rates 25 to 40 times faster than they occur naturally on a reef.
Verdant Isle together with Dr David Vaughan will develop a coral nursery in the Cayman Islands that will be able to hold more than 25,000 coral fragments at a time which can then be transplanted onto local degraded reefs.
To date, most coral gardening techniques successfully grow only a handful of coral species, however Dr Vaughan’s technique of micro-fragmenting is able to grow and outplant all 28 coral species found throughout the Caribbean.
The Verdant Isle planned coral nursery will be located in the vicinity of the port, and will be open to the public to educate school children, tourists and the local community about coral restoration and the importance of corals to the planet. The community and visitors to Grand Cayman will also have the opportunity to outplant these corals to help achieve the goal of planting one million corals.
Verdant Isle is extremely excited about partnering with Dr Vaughan and the Plant a Million Corals Foundation who together have a vision of making the Cayman Islands a centre of excellence for coral restoration in the region through the enhancement and improvement of Cayman’s coral reefs not only in the port project area but also throughout the entire island.
Learn more about the Plant a Million Corals Foundation here.