Ken Nedimyer, president of the Coral Restoration Foundation, is a prominent thought leader for oceanic restoration, and through his efforts, many reefs are seeing new and prolific life.

So how does one actually grow a coral reef? First, coral is attached to PVC pipe and fiberglass rods and suspended vertically in water, taking on the appearance of trees. “It was mostly a way to utilize the three-dimensional space in the water column instead of just growing them on something at the bottom,” Nedimyer explained in an interview with Organic Connections. “What we found is that the corals grow much faster when they’re suspended on a ‘tree’ than they would on the ocean floor.”

With an 80 percent coral survival rate over a two year period, Nedimyer was recently named a CNN hero. Plus, his work has inspired a new generation of students and volunteers passionate about saving the reefs. 

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