Coral Gardening, Cuba

Off the southern coast of the Isle of Youth, live two species of coral that are on the critically endangered list. 

With the support of local experts and volunteers, we are committed to an ongoing effort to improve, monitor, and ultimately ensure coral reef health in this precious and ecologically diverse place.

Coral gardening is the process of cultivating coral fragments and planting them among struggling reefs. It has proven to be a successful and critical step toward large scale coral reef restoration, and requires a great deal of support from IOI volunteers.

These coral gardening efforts are critical not only for the specific reefs they are supporting, but for the ecosystem as a whole, as coral reefs are nurseries to the world’s oceans. 

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Coral reefs are also very important in socio-economics. “The value of coral reefs has been estimated at 30 billion U.S. dollars and perhaps as much as 172 billion U.S. dollars each year, providing food, protection of shorelines, jobs based on tourism, and even medicines.”

By teaming up with CubaMar, pioneers of international marine research and conservation in Cuba, as well as local community members, IOI and our qualified volunteers are actively participating in the restoration of this indispensable ecosystem..   

Visit our Volunteer Cuba page for more information, and contact katie@ioi.ngo for details.