Coral Reef Ecosystem Restoration
Working Group

Long-spined sea urchin

Coral health in the sanctuary has declined over the past several decades due to coastal development, pollution, overfishing, vessel groundings, storms, and coral disease and bleaching. In recent years, great strides have been made to grow corals in underwater nurseries for the purpose of restoring reefs. The sanctuary has permitted coral restoration efforts inside and outside protected zones, and while no area currently exists for intensive restoration efforts, the sanctuary's original management plan considered utilizing marine zoning to achieve this purpose. Public comment received during the initial public scoping period along with the goals and objectives adopted by the Sanctuary Advisory Council have made the topic of coral ecosystem restoration a priority for the marine zoning and regulatory review restoration.


  • Identify specific areas and zones for active restoration of coral reef ecosystem
  • Identify regulatory impediments and appropriate permitting conditions for active restoration of coral reef ecosystem species
  • Identify adaptive management measures/criteria for opening areas closed for restoration purposes (i.e., performance standards for sunset)


Advisory Council Lead - Ken Nedimyer
Advisory Council Co-lead - David Vaughan

Advisory Council Representatives: 

  • Clinton Barras, SAC Tourism - Lower Keys
  • Alex Brylske, SAC Education & Outreach
  • Jeff Cramer, SAC Fishing - Commercial - Shell/Scale
  • Don Kincaid, SAC Diving - Lower Keys
  • Rob Mitchell, SAC Diving - Upper Keys
  • Martin Moe, SAC Education & Outreach
  • Ken Nedimyer, SAC Conservation & Environment
  • Bob Smith, SAC Diving - Lower Keys
  • David Vaughan, SAC Research & Monitoring

Community Experts:

  • Patti Gross, History of Diving Museum
  • Caitlin Lustic, The Nature Conservancy
  • Jeff Neidlinger, A Deep Blue Dive Center
  • Marius Venter, Fury Water Adventures

Staff Lead: Bill Goodwin

For advisory council meeting archives visit: Current Year or Previous Year Archives.

Draft Recommendations

Materials to be presented at the June 17, 2014 Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting

Data and Mapping Applications


Coral Nurseries

Coral Reef Ecosystem Assessment and Monitoring

Coral Reef Ecosystem Management

Coral Reef Ecosystem Restoration