In May 2015, Ocean Encounters Diving Curaçao started the Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao (CRFC). This Foundation is dedicated to grow corals in nurseries and then restore them back in the reefs of the island.
The foundation started with 400 coral fragments of Elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and Staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) hanging from 10 “trees” located on the house reef of Ocean Encounters Diving and Lions Dive and Beach Resort. These “trees” are the nurseries, where the corals grow in a faster manner than in their natural environment. This is due to the fact that the corals are suspended from branches of these trees, at midwater, and away from their predators.
The foundation currently has 20 trees at the house reef of Ocean Encounters, in front of Lions Dive Beach Resort. Another 6 trees were lied out on the house reef of Atlantis diving in December 2017, when this diveshop joined the foundation. The last affiliate is Scubaçao, who decided to install 6 trees with corals at the reef of Marie Pampoen.
So far, the efforts of the foundation have not only been centralized at the house reef of Ocean Encounters, where one can find more than 2000 out planted corals, but in other dive sites, such as: Tugboat, Sweet Bottom, Substation breaker, Sunscape’s house reef and Director’s Bay. At this moment, the Foundation has put more than 4500 Corals back on the reefs of Curaçao.
Further, during these past years, the foundation has developed a core of local divers that get in the water once a month to work at the nurseries and restore reefs.
Thanks to the great initiative and coordination from Ocean Encounters, International School of Curacao (ISC) and the Curacao American Preparatory School (CAPS), there has been more than 50 teenagers that got their diving Certification and they frequently come to assist our CRF team with work at the nurseries.
Watch a short video about
This video was made for the second anniversary of the foundation and offers a great demonstration of our work.
Made in 2017, we have since more than doubled the amount of outplanted corals!
The Curaçao Reef Restoration Program is an initiative of Ocean Encounters and is the host facility for The Foundation. We currently maintain 26 coral supporting trees on our house reef and outplanted over 4500 corals since May 2015.
As a dive operation we take great advantage of the beauty of the reefs. On each and every dive we use and teach proper buoyancy control and we bring back trash and other debris that does not belong on the reefs. But we believe that we can do more and that’s why we have joined the CRFC in July 2018.