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Coral Vita grows its own diverse and resilient corals and transplants them to threatened reefs. The company also works to preserve the ocean’s biodiversity in order to protect the communities and industries that are ultimately dependent on reefs for protection, food and income.
“Coral reefs are one of the cornerstone ecosystems that make the ocean work,” co-founder Sam Teicher told In The Know. “And scientists project that by 2050, over 90 percent of reefs will be dead.”
While in grad school at Yale, Teicher and Gator Halpern started Coral Vita as a way to solve one of the planet’s greatest challenges — the dying coral reefs.
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With a $1,000 grant from the school, Teicher and Halpern brainstormed ways to flesh out their ideas, until they read a New York Times article highlighting Dr. Vaughan’s coral restoration project where he grew coral up to 50 times faster than average.
That sparked a big idea.
Now the pair is based in Grand Bahama Island where they run the world’s first commercial land-based coral farm to restore the reefs.
“We’re creating a new model of reef restoration,” Halpern said. “We can incorporate different cutting-edge breakthroughs from different marine institutes around the world.”
With the ability to adjust the acidity and temperature of the tanks, Teicher and Halpern were able to figure out which types of coral were the most resilient, so they could plant them in dying reefs. Their coral was more likely to survive the warming ocean temperatures.
“You can really see the ecosystem come back to life once you put the corals back into the reef,” Halpern continued.
As the world becomes desensitized to news about dying ecosystems, Coral Vita is working hard to reverse that reality.
“We know how to fix these problems,” Teicher said. “We just needed the ploy, the capital, the resources and the effort to make these changes.”
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