About the Coral Restoration Prize Design

XPRIZE Community members advised on the design of a prize to restore and recover coral reefs.

About the Prize Design

An XPRIZE for Coral Restoration will challenge teams from around the world to develop new and scalable innovations that will help restore and recover coral reefs. Teams will combine engineering and biology to achieve reef recovery and survival at a scale that is orders of magnitude more efficient than today’s leading methods.

Join our online community of experts to get involved and share your wisdom with the crowd.

The Challenge

Half of the world’s coral reefs have died. The rest are under threat due to increased ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. Recent climate reports by the UN estimate we are on course to lose 70 to 99 percent of all coral reefs.

These vital ecosystems help protect coastal communities from storms and tsunamis and provide habitat and shelter for 25 percent of the world’s marine species.

Moreover, coral reef tourism contributes more than $36 billion to the global economy, yet little innovation and investment has gone into restoring corals.

The Goal

Transitioning from small-scale, coral gardening-type projects to restoration at an ecologically relevant, reef-wide scale in a way that is economically feasible and ensures reef survival remains an elusive goal.

Coral restoration techniques to date are labor intensive, top-down, academically driven and expensive. Full restoration would take 720,000 divers working 24 hours a day and would cost trillions of dollars to match the current rate of loss of 2.5 football fields of reef per minute. We need new techniques and innovation breakthroughs to match the scale of the problem.

Your Role

XPRIZE will present draft guidelines for its Coral Restoration prize competition and brainstorm with top coral restoration professionals at the Reef Futures Conference in Key Largo, Florida on December 10-14, 2018.

During and for 90 days after the conference — until the beginning of March 2019 — we invite you to share your ideas and feedback in XPRIZE’s online community of experts.

Many “Coral Restoration” projects are NOT coral “restorations” at all but are in fact CORAL INTRODUCTIONS of species or specific species genomes into areas where that species has historically NOT been found previously. It all looks good when it grows out but is extremely vulnerable to annihilation from hurricanes or colony specific disease. I have photographic data to support this claim. The term “Coral Restoration” should be reserved for areas receiving just that, RESTORATION of an area to it’s previous condition and makeup (species diversity and colony locations, etc.) after events such as hurricanes or disease impact.

Growing Diatom Algae is the best solution to restore Coral Reefs. Diatoms improve water quality by consuming nutrients and CO2and producing Oxygen.

Hi @XPRIZE ! I See that the date for the conference have passed but I would love to learn about any projects and how they have progressed. I would be honored to join the effort and hopefully one day we can look back and say that through a community effort we were able to solve the problem ??

Hi, @mattymatt. We’re still raising funds for a Coral Restoration prize. Not many updates recently, but once there’s news we’ll definitely share it in the community and our newsletters. Thanks for your interest!

Thank you @NickOttens