The benefits humankind earns from an ecosystem are commonly known as ecosystem services. Coral reefs for instance provide food, coastline protection from erosion, jobs in fishing, recreation etc. Climate change induced coral bleaching, storm surges and sea level rise threaten reefs and minimize the provision of services. This means vulnerability to coastal risks and disasters increases, and valuable income is lost.
Reef Rescuers implemented the first-ever large scale reef restoration project using »coral gardening«. It involved collecting over 40,000 small pieces of healthy coral from sites that survived a bleaching event, raising them in underwater nurseries and transplanting them to a 5,300m2 degraded site at Cousin Island Special Reserve affected by coral bleaching. It aims to build resilience in coral reefs damaged by bleaching and improve associated fisheries, tourism and coastal protection.