ART • SCIENCE • CONSERVATION
Counting Coral is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that designs, donates and installs sculptural coral gene banks that are specifically tailored to rehabilitate coral reefs. Through the innovative approach of submerging structural and functional artwork, Counting Coral brings about a transformation in the human engagement with coral reef restoration.
Beneath the ocean's surface, these sculptures become the home for exceptional coral—rare, genetically superior, and opportunistic—evolving into an initial coral nursery and ultimately serving as parent plants within a dynamic gene bank ecosystem. By installing a functional attraction that serves as a gene bank, we are able to divert diver traffic from fragile reefs, increase revenue to the local communities,
strengthen marketing opportunities, and raise awareness for marine conservation.
WHATS THE PROBLEM?
CLIMATE CHANGE & OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
Rising sea temperatures due to climate change pose a severe threat to coral reefs. When exposed to prolonged high temperatures, corals undergo a process called coral bleaching, where they expel the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) living within their tissues, causing them to turn white. Bleached corals are weakened, more susceptible to diseases, and can die if the stress persists. Ocean acidification, resulting from increased carbon dioxide absorption by seawater, also affects coral reef health by inhibiting coral growth and impairing the ability of corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons.
Coral bleaching occurs when corals are stressed by environmental conditions, such as high sea temperatures. Bleaching events have become more frequent and severe in recent decades, leading to significantcoral mortality and reef degradation on a global scale.
POLLUTION & COASTAL DEVELOPMENT
Pollution from land-based sources, including agricultural runoff, sewage discharge, and coastal development, poses a significant threat to coral reefs. Excess nutrients and sediments can cause coral smothering, algal overgrowth, and reduced water quality, impacting the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems.