Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire (CRFB) was established in the 2012, with a central mission to grow thousands of Staghorn and Elkhorn corals in a nursery maintained by volunteer divers. Once the corals reach a competent size, the colonies, made up of thousands of small animals, are transplanted at regular intervals onto damaged portions of natural reefs that plague parts of Bonaires’s famous coast.
Shortly after recognizing the success of the initial transplants, CRFB realized not only how important restoring the reef was, but the importance of communicating this success to those not directly involved with the project. The small, nonprofit CRFB staff is always busy conducting field operations, making it difficult to share the excitement of what they could see happening underwater. Witnessing the coral growth rates can be incredibly rewarding and motivates all stakeholders to stay involved in the restoration effort.
Commonly used social media platforms helped CRFB publish their work but due to the due the short duration of time program volunteers stay on the island of Bonaire and the brief nature of the contents posted to these online platforms, the project was failing to communicate the scope and impacts of their activity: the growth on the reef and the magnitude of the restoration, which can only be measured over a long period of time.
By hosting and sharing the data and images on Project Baseline’s database CFFB found the perfect tool to show the results of their activities. All people who are directly and indirectly involved with CRFB can now witness the reef change in a comprehensive, meaningful and temporal way, illustrating the importance of the CRFB initiative. The Project Baseline database and web-based interface serves well as a working tool that the organization and the entire reef restoration industry can use to monitor and share the success of restoration techniques, entire sites or coral colonies.
-Submitted by F. Virdis; edits by V. Belz