Coral reef restored after 2002 boat grounding

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Corals damaged in 2002 when a boat ran aground in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are now thriving following a restoration and near decade-long monitoring effort, according to a new NOAA report released Friday.

With hundreds of groundings happening each year in the sanctuary, lessons learned from this coral reef restoration and monitoring will guide future restoration efforts.

In August 2002, the 36-foot cabin cruiser Lagniappe II ran aground on a shallow coral reef near Key West, Fla., damaging approximately 376 square-feet of living coral in the sanctuary. After sanctuary staff assessed the damage to the reef, restoration biologists used special cement that hardens under water to reattach 473 corals and coral fragments that had been toppled or dislodged during the grounding.

Click here for the full press release with photos.