How to Restore a Damaged Coral Reef

In February of 2010, the cargo ship M/V VogeTrader ran aground and was later removed from a coral reef in Kalaeloa/Barber's Point Harbor off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

NOAA's Restoration Center and the State of Hawaii worked quickly to implement emergency restoration for the damaged corals (using what look like laundry baskets), using special underwater scientific techniques and technologies, and ultimately restoring the reef after getting some help from vacuums, power washers, and even winter storms.

After clearing rubble from the seafloor, we reattached more than 600 coral colonies. We began work in October 2013 and wrapped up in April 2014. A year after restoration, 89 percent of the reattached corals had survived, while fish and other marine life were making themselves at home in the new reef habitat.