NOAA, partners to announce major Florida Keys coral reef restoration effort

Agency to reveal new coral reef preservation and restoration approach
November 25, 2019 On Mon., Dec. 9, NOAA and its partners will announce a major coral reef restoration strategy targeting seven reefs in the Florida Keys. The groundbreaking “Mission: Iconic Reefs” effort is intended to change the severely declining health of North America’s only barrier coral reef.
Coral Restoration Foundation divers transplant nursery-grown staghorn coral to Carysfort Reef in 2018. On Dec. 9, NOAA will announce a major coral reef restoration strategy targeting seven reefs in the Florida Keys.

Florida’s coral reefs have been in decline since the 1970s due to hurricanes, heat-induced bleaching, cold snaps, disease and increased human use. Members of the media are invited to learn more about the effort, interview experts, and participate in an optional tour of a coral nursery and restoration site. 

Media interested in attending should RSVP by Thu., Dec. 5 to Gena Parsons, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary,, 305-304-0179.

Announcement of NOAA-led “Mission: Iconic Reefs” coral reef restoration initiative 

Mon., Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m. EST 

Murray Nelson Government Center 
102050 Overseas Highway 
Key Largo, Florida 33037



  • National Ocean Service: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • NOAA Fisheries: Office of Habitat Conservation Restoration Center


  • Coral Restoration Foundation
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
  • FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 
  • Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium 
  • Reef Renewal     
  • The Florida Aquarium 
  • The Nature Conservancy 

10:30 a.m.:    Briefing presentation - NOAA 
11:00 a.m.:    Q&A - NOAA and partners
11:30 a.m.:    Opportunity for interviews with project subject-matter experts
1:00 p.m.:    Optional on-the-water tour of an underwater coral nursery and restoration site. Snorkel gear and light lunch provided. Weather dependent. RSVP required. 

The announcement will be streamed live on Monroe County Television: link.

Photos and video of the restoration sites will be available following the briefing.


Media contact:
Gena Parsons, 305-304-0179