For three years scientists with Raising Coral Costa Rica have been snapping off coral pieces from existing reefs to grow them in an underwater nursery. The team is using tested techniques and experimental ideas to grow coral and revive ancient reefs in Golfo Dulce, southwestern Costa Rica. Their findings are helping to restore local ecosystems, and could help researchers who hope to revive reefs in nearby countries. The species of the Golfo Dulce, when compared to a lot of the world’s reefs, may hold extraordinary clues about resilience to changing ocean conditions. As the race to save our oceans against a changing climate accelerates around the world, knowing how to rebuild one of its foundational components, coral reefs, may be one way that scientists can help them survive in a warming world. Like a mermaid on an underwater picnic, she floats gently in the current as slivers of sunlight reveal a garden of corals in the Golfo Dulce, in southern Costa Rica. Holding a basket filled with round, spiked corals, she collects one last specimen, then begins her ascent. As she breaks the surface, Socorro Avila, a research assistant who grew up on this gulf, joins Joanie Kleypas and […]

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