Coral Reef Restoration: A Discussion of Techniques and Implementations

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Alison L. Moulding

Second Advisor

David Gilliam


An estimated 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery. In addition, 24% of reefs are under risk of collapse from human pressures and another 26% are under a long-term threat of collapse (Wilkinson 2004). Therefore, preservation and restoration of coral reefs is of particular local, national and global interest. Although corals may have the ability to recover from natural disturbances, stresses from human activities coupled with natural stresses may inhibit their ability to recover (Edwards and Gomez 2007). Restoring damaged and disturbed reefs may facilitate recovery and help compensate for reef destruction. This paper reviews coral reef restoration techniques and selected case studies at locations around the world. Some of the successes and potential issues of reef restoration projects are discussed along with considerations and implications for coral reef managers.

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