Original Minimum Requirements - See Revised Prize Overview

XPRIZEXPRIZE Los Angeles, CaliforniaPosts: 21
At a minimum, we want to require teams to demonstrate their ability to:
  • Restore at least one hectare (ha) of reef in one week;
  • Deploy a minimum of three coral species; and
  • Achieve at least 50 percent live coral cover surviving after two years.

Do you think these requirements are fair? Too strict? Or not strict enough? Are there other requirements we should consider adding?


  • A certain percent survival will favor places with stable conditions and may dissuade participation from environments which need restoration most. Perhaps ratio of initial to endpoint coral cover might work better? We can transplant all day in an area that has been over collected or dynamited and expect high survival whereas bleaching and disease prone locales, where coral will not recruit back to without help, will be a lot more work but may be in more in need of restoration
  • anupaanupa Los AngelesPosts: 5 mod
    We received similar feedback on this survival metric at a prize workshop at the Reef Futures conference in Florida last week. The general consensus was not to bother measuring coral survival at all. Survival and other metrics (coral equivalent, etc) focus too much on units when the ultimate goal should be a functioning ecosystem. Instead we should look at structural complexity, coral and fish diversity, what functional groups are present on the reef, and the future viability of the ecosystem. Several others suggested, as Charles did above, measuring the change between initial to endpoint coral cover, and also using some sort of index to measure ecological function/potential.

    To that end, it was recommended that diversity should be a greater focus while ensuring some sort of equivalency between regions (considering the number of species present in the Indo-Pacific vs. Caribbean). Any thoughts on a suggested requirement of planting/seeding 50 percent of the number of coral species native to the region?
  • DanSelzDanSelz Los AngelesPosts: 12 mod
    @margaretmiller thanks so much for the incredible, detailed thoughts about minimum requirements! You've given the the team and I here at XPRIZE a lot to think about.
  • DanSelzDanSelz Los AngelesPosts: 12 mod
    @Victor Jongeneel thanks for your comment! Just to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that, for asexual restoration specifically, the challenge of growing enough corals to do the restoration work will be more challenging than the actual outplanting of the corals once they're grown?
  • DanSelzDanSelz Los AngelesPosts: 12 mod
    At XPRIZE we try to set audacious but achievable goals. Is a five-hectare minimum for reef restoration over two years the right threshold for this prize? Does that fit the goal of being audacious enough to lead to exponential breakthroughs in coral restoration, but still achievable enough that people will feel incentivized to compete and win?
  • TaliVTaliV Posts: 1
    Hi All. I'll throw in my two cents. First and most importantly, I strongly suggest X prize consider a longer period of time upon which to judge the prize. Considering the slow growth of corals and reefs and the need to develop solutions that benefit reefs in the long-term, I recommend a minimum of 5 yrs, preferably 10y with the first phase lasting no shorter than 3y. Ultimately solutions that work over 5-10 years will have a higher likelihood of "saving the reefs" than solutions which get lots of coral material onto a reef within a 2y time frame.

    As for the metrics from comparison, I recommend using pre-existing conditions as a basis - measuring changes in coral diversity, cover, and density before and after restoration, while considering a basin-specific minimum absolute threshold (of each of the three metrics) and a minimum percent increase to reach the next level.
  • anupaanupa Los AngelesPosts: 5 mod
    Thanks for your comment @TaliV! I understand the relevance and potential of extending the prize to the 5-10 year range, but from a logistical standpoint, we're hoping a two-year competition helps strike a better balance between the realities of coral biology and the operational side of running the competition… with that in mind and noting the two track framework we're looking at now (a winner for each-- asexual techniques and larval propagation), do you have further thoughts on what those metrics/thresholds might be if we take into account regional differences in species abundance?
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