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Community Last Updated: Jan 7, 2021 - 5:32:17 PM

BREEF’s Adopt-a-Coral Programme, ranked best gift over the holiday season 
By Allison Longley
Jan 7, 2021 - 3:05:17 PM

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Coral Fragments hanging from the propagation unit with ”Ocean Atlas” watching over them.

The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) extends heartfelt thanks to all its local and international supporters who adopted coral for themselves or loved ones during BREEF's Adopt a Coral "Holiday Special" promotion. The abundance of coral adoptions combined with a generous matching donation made double the impact.

The Bahamas is home to 35% of all coral reefs in the wider Caribbean.  Coral reefs have the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet—even more than a
tropical rainforest. Occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than 25% of marine life. Coral reefs also provide protection from storms, and generate income for tourism and fisheries.

Coral reefs are under serious threat from human impacts such as climate change, pollution, introduction of invasive species, coastal development, illegal fishing practices and overfishing. Globally, 80% of live corals have died in the last 50 years. BREEF works to protect coral reefs through coral restoration, education and by encouraging good policy decisions for sustainable development. Coral reefs are especially vulnerable to warming waters due to human-induced climate change, and BREEF’s staff closely monitor corals for signs of coral stress and bleaching. Climate change is the result of burning fossil fuels and warming the atmosphere and the ocean.

Coral adopted in June 2020, named “Chole”. Chole has since grown 20 cm and has been out-planted multiple times onto the nearby coral reef.

Human actions have already caused 1C of this global warming which has resulted in impacts such as the climate-fueled Hurricane Dorian. If global warming exceeds 1.5C, small island states, particularly low-lying archipelagic nations like The Bahamas, will be even more at risk.

BREEF created the Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden & Coral Nursery in 2014 in the beautiful Bahamian waters off Clifton. It Is an exceptional snorkeling and diving experience and is home to “Ocean Atlas” – the world’s largest underwater sculpture, and the location of one of BREEF’s coral nurseries.  The sculpture garden is a perfect fusion of living art, conservation and Education, teaching thousands of children every year about the Bahamian waters.

Photo 4- BESS scholar, Tonia, next to coral outplants, enjoying a snorkel at the Coral Reef Sculpture Garden & Coral Nursery 

BREEF has an additional coral nursery located on third largest barrier reef in the world, the Andros Barrier Reef. To date, hundreds of corals have been out-planted back onto the surrounding reefs to help restore and rebuild this critical ecosystem.

The “holiday special” promotion was so successful, BREEF will be offering the opportunity again in February for Valentine’s Day, and encourages everyone to join BREEF in restoring our coral reefs by adopting a coral.

BREEF is a member of the Reef Rescue Network. For more information on our coral restoration activities and the coral adoption programme at the world-famous BREEF Coral Reef Sculpture Garden and the Andros Barrier Reef visit www.breef.org.

Mallory Raphael, BREEF Research & Environmental Education Officer, teaching students how to outplant corals onto the nearby reef.

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