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After the storms comes the (coral) work

18 Feb 2022

Our team returned after the monsoon season to kickstart the 2022 season with exciting new studies.

As soon as the annual monsoon season passes, our team returns to Lang Tengah Island. Every year the return is much anticipated, exciting and filled with questions, since there is always a bit of uncertainty looming around: did our coral nurseries survive the monsoon? How are the outplanted corals doing? Did the big monsoon waves damage the reefs? How much trash will we find?

In past years, the monsoon caused significant damages, especially after storm Pabuk in 2019. But this time, all nurseries were in good condition and our team got straight to work. The agenda was long: coral nursery maintenance, data logger retrieval, deployment and maintenance, outplant surveys and reef cleans.

But this February was special, as our team immediately started planting corals. Within 10 days, all of the above was accomplished, and we planted over 500 new coral fragments at Batu Kuching Reef. Since we are grounding our restoration efforts in science, these new outplants were planted as part of 2 new scientific studies: 1 testing the effects of fragment size on survival and growth, and the second study looking into how the number of outplants (density) impacts the formation of micro-habitat. These studies will continue for at least 1 year, so this is not the last time our team will survey these corals. We will return soon in March to check up on our new outplants as well as continue our restoration program.

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