Coralisma is the first non-profit organization striving to rebuild coral reefs in Mexico through coral tree nurseries. Coralisma is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation, and education of coral reefs in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. As of March of 2020, Coralisma has restored over 1,300 corals onto the reefs of Playa del Carmen.
MISSION & HISTORY
Coralisma is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation, and education of coral reefs in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. As of March of 2020, Coralisma has restored over 1,300+ corals onto the reefs of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Our founders, Isabela Rios and Marina Garmendia, are two Open Water Instructors that, through their diving careers, have noticed the rapid degradation of coral reefs worldwide. After having the opportunity to study abroad, and learn how countries around the globe are making considerable efforts to restore the ocean’s most vital ecosystems, coral reefs, the two college students were determined to bring this revolutionary technique back to the reefs they call home. After being inspired by Coral Restoration Foundations ® methodology in Florida, they saw a unique opportunity to create their own coral tree nursery in Mexico. In doing so they have given back not only to the reefs but to the country where they were born and raised.
With the support of Mexican National Fishing Institute (INAPESCA) and National Fishing Research Center in Puerto Morelos (CRIAP), we have had the pleasure of working under Dr. Claudia Padilla. It has been her team's goal since 2017 to restore over 260 million corals to the Mesoamerican reefs from Contoy to Tulum. All of the corals restored through Coralisma’s projects fall within Dr. Claudia’s count. We hope to continue contributing to this number through all of our future projects as well.
Since our founding in 2018, we have accomplished some incredible goals. We have been collecting data from the corals in our nursery since its original construction back in December of 2018. But boy have they grown! Over the past two years, those same corals have matured in our nursery and were out-planted back out onto the reefs of Playa del Carmen, Mexico in March of 2020.
In order to combat the rising degradation of corals, Coralisma was born. This non-profit organization takes advantage of the coral’s ability to asexually reproduce through coral fragmentation, letting them grow, and then returning them back onto the reef. Coralisma uses Coral Restoration Foundations® (CRF) original tree methodology. Over time, it produces a larger amount of corals making it easier and faster to rehabilitate dying reefs.
Any scuba diver can tell you that reefs today are not the same as they were 10 years ago. Coral reefs are dying. Preservation, restoration, and education are key for the future of our coral reefs. Many factors such as runoff pollution, diver impact, overfishing, oxybenzone sunscreens, and anthropogenic climate change, contribute to coral death. Nevertheless, in the Riviera Maya coral bleaching is an re-occurring phenomenon that has caused coral death in the past four decades. Coral bleaching results in the loss of coral’s symbiotic algae partner, which, in healthy conditions, supply the coral with a large percentage of its essential nutrients. A bleached coral is susceptible to diseases and death. Coral bleaching is a stressor response much like a fever in humans. If the temperatures spike over 1 °C of the average summer temperature, corals will start to bleach. This means that they lose their main food source, and consequently will start to starve. By planting a higher density of corals onto the reefs in advantageous reef sites we can fight this coral reef degradation. With the ultimate goal of preserving these beautiful, essential ecosystems.