The Nature Conservancy Kicks Off Restoration Week, June 3rd -8th, Celebrating Marine Science in Action

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The Conservancy is highlighting the benefits of coral, mangrove, sea grass, and shellfish restoration to people and nature including reducing risk from natural disasters for coastal communities and benefits to local economies through tourism and additional fish production

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"Coral reefs, oyster reefs and mangroves offer flexible, cost-effective, and sustainable first lines of defense from coastal hazards like storms, erosion and floods," said Dr. Michael Beck, Lead Marine Scientist at The Nature Conservancy.

The Nature Conservancy, a leader in global marine restoration, is celebrating science in action with the first annual Restoration Week on June 3rd – June 8th Oyster reefs, seagrass meadows, coral reefs and other natural coastal features help prevent erosion, reduce the risk to coastal communities during storms and provide important habitat that supports local businesses through fishing, tourism and other economic drivers.

The Conservancy understands the dual benefits to people and nature in restoring coastal habitats and over the past decade has been putting science into action in the water at over 160 restoration sites around the globe, 148 of them conducted in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in U.S. waters. We’ve captured highlights of our ten-year partnership with NOAA and some of our restoration successes in the report: Restoration Works.

“Coral reefs, oyster reefs and mangroves offer flexible, cost-effective, and sustainable first lines of defense from coastal hazards like storms, erosion and floods, and additional economic co-benefits that built infrastructure like sea walls and breakwaters do not," said Dr. Michael Beck, Lead Marine Scientist at The Nature Conservancy.

Examples of science in action:

  •     Oysters – In April, The Conservancy continued a massive oyster restoration effort with nearly 600 volunteers and partners setting thousands of ‘oyster castles’ in Mobile Bay, AL. The concrete blocks provide a base for oysters that provide habitat for fish and birds while reducing the risk to communities from storms.
  •     Coral Reefs – The Conservancy and partners have grown over 30,000 staghorn and elkhorn corals in eight nurseries along the Florida Keys. In 2012 we transplanted over 10,000 of the corals to new sites in waters around Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of the largest restoration project of its kind.
  •     Mangroves– In 2004 a brand new preschool opened on Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the same year category three hurricane Ivan slammed the island. The school was protected in large part by a dense stand of mangroves. The Conservancy and partners are developing a management plan for Grenville, a coastal community in Grenada including natural defenses to storm surge like mangroves that will support livelihoods and provide fish habitat.
  •     Sea Grasses – The Conservancy is leading the world’s largest eelgrass restoration effort with partners and hundreds of volunteers. Together, we have harvested over 40 million seagrass seeds and helped restore over 5,000 acres of seagrass meadow to four bays along the Virginia Coast Reserve to date. Those acres of seagrass provide habitat for a rebounding bay scallop population.
  •     Clams – The Conservancy and partners have stocked “spawner sanctuaries” in the Great South Bay of Long Island New York with more than 6.3 million mature clams over the past decade. The restoration of clam populations helps filter the bay’s waters improving water quality for marine life, recreation and helping rebuild a traditional clam fishery.

Additional Resources for Journalists:

  •     NOAA State of the Coasts – latest economic and population statistics for the U.S. coastline:
  •     World Risk Report, The Nature Conservancy co-authored report on the role nature can play in reducing risks from storms.
  •     Highlights of our ten-year partnership with NOAA: Restoration Works.
  •     Conservancy tools and approach to help communities make better decisions about use and protection of their coastlines:


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Tom McCann
Nature Conservancy, The
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