The Nature Conservancy Bahamas

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Among its many initiatives in The Bahamas, The Nature Conservancy is expanding coral reef protection – an issue at the heart of The Moore Bahamas Foundation’s strategy across the Caribbean.

Coral reefs are among Earth’s most biologically diverse natural systems and provide critical coastal protection. However, coral species have suffered significant declines, including important reef-building staghorn and elkhorn corals (Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmate), due in part to coastal development, unsustainable fishing, coral bleaching and disease.

Fast-growing Acropora corals can be efficiently propagated at in-water nurseries and maintained regularly by staff and volunteers. Using successful methodology at coral nursery demonstration sites in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Conservancy selected several ideal reef restoration sites off the coast of New Providence. The first coral nursery site in The Bahamas was established in 2011, with subsequent expansion to Andros and other New Providence sites in 2012.

With partner support, these sites have proven very successful, resulting in more than 5,000 healthy coral fragments to date. Throughout 2015, The Nature Conservancy will plant at least 500 of these onto degraded area reefs, offering hope for and assisting restoration of threatened Bahamian coral reefs. Building on these successes, The Nature Conservancy is exploring options to expand this project to other sites in The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean.

“The Conservancy is excited about our partnership with The Moore Charitable Foundation. With the support of MCF we have built additional capacity for coral research
and monitoring and we have been able to significantly advance our knowledge and understanding of growing coral fragments in Bahamian waters.”
– Shenique Albury-Smith, Senior Policy Advisor/Country Representative, The Nature Conservancy Northern Carribean Program (The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos)

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s coral reef restoration project here.