Coral Rescue and Transplanting

Sometimes, it is know that corals will die because of foreseen construction, or other anticipatable changes.  It these cases, the foremost tactic to rescue the corals is to do all things possible to avoid the construction or other identifiable change.  If, for example, a reef will be destroyed by sedimentation of the sand plump of beach filling, point out that there are other viable solutions to restoring beaches without sand pumping.  The first responsibility is to avoid harming our natural reef systems.  As a last effort, and not as a way of making it "okay" is possible to move many corals or at least to preserve the coral genetics by propagating fragments of each adult coral colony in the threatened area and replanting them in a suitable and safe location.  


Coral Restoration

Coral Propagation

Reef Ball Attachment System

Artificial Reef 
Construction &

Red Mangrove Planting

Monitoring and
Data Collection

Volunteer Programs

Activities Near You (Reef Ball World Mapping System)

Reef Ball Foundation Home Page

Reef Ball Services Home Page

Steps in A Coral Rescue Project
  1. Make every effort to avoid the corals being damaged in the first place.

  2. Survey the area and document existing species and relative abundances.  

  3. Determine if you have enough resources for a complete rescue, or just a preservation of coral genetics

  4. Locate a suitable new location(s) for the corals to be moved to that has similar water quality and parameters

  5. Determine need for prefabricated bases or if existing hard bottom can be used for re-attachement.

  6. Build and deploy prefabricated bases if needed.

  7. Develop a rescue plant that minimizes damages to coral colonies.  

  8. Conduct a  Coral Propagation "backup" taking a few cuttings from each adult colony before rescue work as a way to preserve genetics in case of loss.  If there is time, give adult colonies time to heal after cuttings are taken.

  9. Build a temporary nursery area to hold adult colonies until there is time to plant them.

  10. Perform the rescue and remove as many corals as is practical from the area that will be destroyed.

  11. Transport corals to the temporary nursery.

  12. As quickly as is practical, begin planting corals (Hydrostatic Movie showing how the Hydrostatic/Microsilica  attachment method works or Reef Ball Attachment System Method)


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Need more information? Contact us:

John Walch
Coral Team Co-Leader 

Marjo Van Der Bulck
Coral Team Co-Leader

Sara Cirelli
Red Mangrove Team Co-Leader

Reef Ball Foundation, Inc., 
Volunteer Services Division

Georgia Office (Kathy Kirbo)
603 River Overlook Rd.
Woodstock, GA 30188 USA
Atlanta, GA 30188
770 752-0202

Florida Office (Todd Barber)
6916 22nd Street West
Bradenton, FL 34207
941 720-7549

Arizona Office (John Walch/Ocean Worlds)
15042 North Moon Valley Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85022



Todd Barber, Division Chair

Kathy Kirbo,
Executive Director


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Other Valuable Internal Reef Ball Links

            -Coral Reef Transplant Notes
            -Identified Hard Coral Diseases (The Coral Disease Page) offline