Scientists Team Up To Develop An Unconventional Way To Save Coral Reefs Faster Than Ever Before

With global coral reef populations in steep decline around the world, scientists are searching for solutions to prevent marine predators from attacking spawning coral. Scientists from Reef Fortify in Florida developed a revolutionary solution for protecting new, healthy coral to restore coral reefs. The new “Coral Fort™” features phade®straws to protect and restore coral reefs, increasing transplanted coral survival rates from less than 40 percent to over 90 percent.

phade straws do more than help prevent plastic pollution. Now they’re helping to protect the ocean’s coral reefs too!

Predation of corals transplanted from laboratories to the ocean has hindered reef restoration efforts for years and an effective means of protecting corals has eluded experts until now. The new “Coral Fort™,” a device that uses a limestone disc surrounded by the phade® brand of marine biodegradable drinking straws, protects laboratory-grown coral moved to the ocean in reef restoration efforts. Predators like parrot fish bite and destroy newly transplanted coral, but phade straws shield the coral and then safely biodegrade, leaving nothing behind except a strong and growing piece of coral. 

The team’s research findings show more than 90 percent of corals placed within Coral Forts™ off the coast of Fort Lauderdale were free from parrot fish bites and are now thriving, up from less than 40 percent survival rate without assistance from Coral Forts™.

phade blue globe

Why It Works

Coral reefs represent some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, providing a habitat for a variety of marine life. The phade straws protect the baby coral from parrot fish bites for 8 weeks, at which point the coral has grown large enough and the phade straws have safely biodegraded away. The Coral Fort™ is a simple, inexpensive, and environmentally safe solution that allows coral put into the ocean in reef restoration efforts to grow and thrive.

Coral Fort™ Dive Footage

Get an up-close underwater view of a Coral Fort™ in action.

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