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Coral reefs support over 500 million people around the world—giving us food, tourism, a rich biological diversity, and defense from storms. But the corals that construct reefs get physically damaged and broken into pieces by fishing gear that scours the seafloor, severe weather, careless scuba divers, and boat anchoring. The coral can take months to decades to recover, particularly in waters deeper than 200 meters.
Some species of coral can survive this damage and re-grow as fragments. This ability allows humans to artificially propagate corals to restore reef habitats by coral 'gardening,' which effectively uses scuba divers to take healthy pieces of coral and transplant them back onto a reef. But speed is the key: the quicker the reef is re-built, the sooner the reefs can restore ocean health by attracting fish, tourists and provide coastal defense. Healthy reefs are also much better placed to persist with the increasing challenges of ocean warming, acidification and pollution.

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