Ocean Encounters

Reef Renewal Curacao

Reef Renewal Curaçao (formerly known as Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao) is a non-profit organization dedicated to to enhancing populations of threatened coral species across Curaçao and educating the public on the importance of the oceans.

The main objectives of this program are the restoration of our shallow water reef system, educating the community and protecting and preserving Curaçao’s natural ecosystems.

Reef Renewal Curacao | Ocean Encounters

Reef Renewal Curacao is an initiative of Ocean Encounters and supported by our community, sponsors, volunteers and Reef Renewal International. The dedicated coral restoration team also works closely with Reef Renewal Bonaire, SECORE International and the Carmabi Foundation to constantly improve restoration techniques, innovations and share the data collection to benefit the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao and the greater Caribbean region.

The Vision for Coral Restoration in Curacao

Reef Renewal Curacao envisions a future where the shallow water reef systems around Curaçao are no longer threatened and ocean stewardship and protecting our coral reefs is at the heart of Curaçao’s culture.

All aspects of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island depend on coral reefs, from coastal protection and food on our table to revenue from tourism. The existence of coral reefs is intertwined into much of the infrastructure and revenue on the island. However, these coral reefs are threatened by human impacts and reef restoration is only part of the solution.

For Reef Renewal Curacao to effectively build back and restore the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao, we need the support of a variety of private stakeholders and the support of the Curaçao government.

We need to take the importance of coral reefs out of the water and make it something that is valued by the whole community of Curaçao.

Get Involved with Coral Restoration

Do you want to support our work and give back to the reef? Are you looking for a gift for your ocean loving friend or relative?

Adopt a coral, branch, tree or cluster and receive updates on your tagged adoption. We will send you a final update when your adoption matures and finally gets outplanted onto the reef, creating a habitat for many juvenile reef fish.

Adopting a coral directly funds our restoration work. It helps us to restore the reefs in Curaçao and protect an incredibly valuable ecosystem.

HOW DOES CORAL RESTORATION WORK

Our restoration work starts by hanging fragments of Staghorn and Elkhorn corals on coral trees and letting them grow.

Growing corals in this way is much faster than in the wild. The corals are suspended in the middle of the water column with a constant stream of nutrients passing by and closer to the sunlight. Both of these factors means the corals are in optimum conditions to grow.

A collection of these coral trees (any from 4 – 10) make up what we call a coral nursery.  We have 8 nurseries around the island of Curacao, made up of a total of 55 trees.

Coral Nurseries in Curacao

Across the island of Curacao, Reef Renewal Curacao has active Staghorn nurseries located at Avila Beach Hotel, Baoase Luxury Resort, Kontiki Beach Resort, Marie Pampoen, LionsDive Beach Resort at Mambo Beach, and Eel Valley. After 6-9 months, the corals will have reached the right size to be outplanted. 

Outplanting is the process of attaching the corals back to the reef, where they will be able to continue growing to sexual maturity and then start reproducing.

We use different outplanting techniques for our Staghorn and Elkhorn coral, but each technique ensures the fragment is completely secure to the sea bed floor.  This becomes the corals final home, where they can grow and provide a valuable habitat for many Caribbean reef fish.

Outplanting across the island.

Our outplants can be seen all over the island, including LionsDive Beach Resort at Mambo Beach, Director’s Bay, Sweet Bottom, Tugboat, Marie Pompoen, Baoase Luxury Resort and the Avila Beach Hotel.

Coral Restoration in Curacao | Ocean Encounters
PADI Coral Restoration Specialty Course in Curacao | Ocean Encounters

Sustainable Tourism in Curacao

At Ocean Encounters, we believe in educating, setting an example and making a change.

It is for this reason, that we have committed to making a strong eco-friendly presence with our green initiatives and have taken these to another level with our #OEPledge, our commitment to sustainability. The #OEpledge shares the many different ways we have been involved in protecting the local waters, marine life, and community.

The Curaçao Reef Restoration Program is an example of one of these sustainabilty initiatives.

LEARN MORE – Because together we are making a difference for the future of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island!

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