Biscayne National Park: Seeks Volunteers for Coral Nursery
Contact: Richard Curry, 305-230-1144, x3006
Contact: Dan Crossett, 786-335-3622
Biscayne National Park will hold an informational session for potential volunteers to get involved in the park’s Coral Nursery Project at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 31 at the park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center. The meeting is intended for anyone interested in making a difference for the park’s coral reef ecosystem. While the program is geared towards adults, responsible students over the age of 15 are welcome to attend. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is located 9 miles East of Homestead at 9700 SW 328 Street.
For the past 15 years, the park has been salvaging pieces of coral damaged by boat groundings, storms and other traumatic impacts. The pieces are mounted with epoxy onto PVC rods and a scannable tag is implanted in the base of the rod. The resulting “coral popsicles” are then introduced into coral nurseries located throughout the park. It is hoped that someday the slow-growing colonies will be able to be used in restoring damaged reef areas. The popsicles are regularly cleaned and weighed for documentation and research purposes, and volunteers perform most of this work. Volunteers would also be involved in locating and rescuing damaged corals, securing funding, participating in educational outreach, and other aspects of nursery maintenance. There are positions for both swimmers and non-swimmers.