Project Page

Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities - Coral Propagation Technique Development

Implementing Organization

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; US Department of the Interior


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Habitat Restoration and Enhancement

Targeted Resources

Benthic Zone/Sea Floor

Project Description

The most direct approach to restoring Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities (MDBC) is to facilitate the growth of new corals to accelerate an otherwise protracted natural recovery due to the slow natural growth rates and low recruitment of mesophotic and deep benthic corals. The objective of this pilot scale project is to develop techniques that can be used for direct restoration of MDBC at a scale that is meaningful relative to the injury to these communities. The project will undertake both field and lab work to test a variety of substrates for their coral recruitment potential, and to test a variety of coral transplant techniques. Although some preliminary testing of substrates and techniques in laboratory settings may be necessary, this project will primarily test substrates and techniques in situ (in the natural location), in mesophotic and deep water coral habitats. Additional lab work will be conducted to develop coral cultivation techniques. Development of these methods and techniques will ultimately be applied at scales necessary for effective enhancement of coral recruitment and growth. This project will be adaptively managed throughout its seven to eight-year time frame.


Kristopher Benson
(409) 621-1200
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

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