As a scuba-diver, Sam Teicher has long been worried about threats to coral reefs, including pollution and global warming.

After college, he worked on a reef restoration project on the island of Mauritius, off the coast of Africa. He wanted to continue this work. But he knew it would be expensive to restore reefs everywhere in the world. So he and his friend Gator Halpern got to thinking …

Teicher: “Maybe if we can create a commercial model to do large-scale reef restoration, that could really help protect reefs for the future.”

Now, the two run a start-up company called Coral Vita. They plan to build coral farms and sell reef restoration services to tourism companies and governments.

At their pilot farm on the Island of Grand Bahama, they use a technique that can rapidly grow new corals from tiny cuttings.

Teicher: “We take these cuttings from reefs and bring them to our farms. And we grow the coral fragments in these tanks for six to twelve months.”

The corals are then transplanted onto damaged reefs in the ocean, to help the reefs recover.

Growing coral cannot save reefs if global warming continues unchecked. But Teicher says it can give them – and the industries they support – a better chance to survive while the world cuts carbon pollution.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Photo credit: Jimmy Chang / Unsplash.