The MSC Foundation, established by MSC Group, has signed agreements with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, as well as Nova Southeastern University (Florida) finalizing the terms of the graduate internship program that will support its Super Coral Program research and development activities.
The program will use a blended approach of both virtual and on site studies at Ocean Cay in the Bahamas. This marks the kick-off of the implementation phase of the MSC Foundation-created program, as its response to the emergency of coral reefs approaching extinction due to climate change and pollution.
“This partnership marks an important step forward in our commitment to implement a marine conservation program to reverse the steep decline of coral reefs around the globe, which threatens a quarter of all marine life," said Pierfrancesco Vago, Chair of the MSC Group's MSC Foundation Executive Committee.
"The Ocean is in our DNA, which is why the Super Coral program is more than a local initiative to protect and restore the coral reefs around Ocean Cay and Florida. It is designed to build unique expertise in the study and practice of coral resilience, developing a model that can be successfully replicated around the world.”
Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world, serve as a food and economic resource for half a billion people, and protect coastal communities from storms and erosion.
According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists predict that 70 to 90 percent of coral reefs are in danger of dying out by 2050.
The program aims to research, develop, test, and refine methods to reverse the decline n coral reefs in the 64 square mile marine reserve around Ocean Cay, pioneering the rebuilding of damaged coral reefs with coral species that are more resilient to environmental threats like pollution and ocean warming. These studies are the work in which the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and Nova Southeastern University scientists will be directly involved.
The goals of the Super Coral Program are to:
- Restore the coral reefs around Ocean Cay so they become more resistant to environmental change.
- Pioneer the use of hardy Super Coral species and varieties to increase the resilience of the reefs.
- Develop and share a scalable replicable model to advance scientific understanding and promote thriving coral and marine restoration worldwide.
- Promote pubic awareness of and action in support of marine conservation and coral reef restoration.