Join Richard Vevers of the hit Netflix documentary “Chasing Coral” at Raise the Reef 2018, Coral Restoration Foundation’s 6th Annual Gala, Saturday, April 28, at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.
At the current rate we are losing them, all shallow water coral reef systems could be functionally extinct in the next 80 years. As the Netflix documentary, “Chasing Coral”, so powerfully revealed, the crisis gripping our oceans is dramatic but also, unfortunately, invisible to most people.
Life on Earth needs healthy coral reefs. They are the “rainforests of the sea,” supporting 25 percent of all marine life, protecting our shores, feeding our people, providing pharmaceutical solutions, and breathtaking natural playgrounds that underpin economies around the world. Yet coral reefs are among the most endangered ecosystems on the planet.
On the brink
Right on Florida’s doorstep lies the Florida Reef Tract — the third largest barrier reef in the world and the only barrier coral reef in the continental United States.
The Florida Reef Tract was once dominated by two species of reef-building coral, staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn (Acropora palmata). It now hosts only three percent of the once predominant staghorn and elkhorn cover that it had in the 1970s. These became some of the first corals to be included in the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, and are both now listed as “Critically Endangered” – one step away from a listing of “Extinct in the Wild”.
Over the last decade, the Florida-based Coral Restoration Foundation has developed a scale-able, science-driven method for “farming” and “outplanting” colonies of staghorn and elkhorn, in an effort to bring these species back from the brink of extinction.
By hanging finger-sized fragments of these corals to grow on coral trees, suspended in the nutrient-and-sunlight-rich water column, Coral Restoration Foundation can produce colonies that are large enough to be planted onto the reef in just six to nine months. With around 500 coral trees across seven large nurseries, to date, CRF has now planted more than 66,000 corals back onto the Florida Reef Tract.
CRF’s outplanted coral thickets are now spawning naturally - evidence that the method is working and, that with a little help, these damaged reefs could eventually return themselves to a healthy state. You can be the help that is needed and join the mission on one magical night, at “Raise the Reef 2018”.
Raise the Reef 2018, Coral Restoration Foundation’s 6th Annual Gala, will be a night to remember.
You can expect to be inspired, entertained, and enlightened. Raise the Reef 2018 is being hosted at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo and, thanks to the Ocean Reef Conservation Association, presents Guest of Honor Richard Vevers – the man behind the hit Netflix documentary, “Chasing Coral”, and Founder and CEO of the Ocean Agency.
In addition to joining famous and dynamic personalities for cocktails and a first-class sustainable menu, you will also have the opportunity to bid on one of the last available Limited Edition Oris Staghorn Restoration watches (a piece designed specifically to support the mission of the Coral Restoration Foundation), as well as an original painting by the renowned marine life artist BJ Royster, member of the Ocean Artists Society and the Ocean Reef Art League.
Every dollar raised at Raise the Reef 2018 will directly benefit the work of the Coral Restoration Foundation to restore coral reefs to a healthy state, in Florida and beyond.
Tickets are now on sale, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Go to http://gala.coralrestoration.org for more information.