How do you bring back a vanishing coral reef? That’s what conservationists are racing to do in the Florida Keys, where they’re coming up with a whole new playbook for saving corals.
Over the summer, they did what used to be the unthinkable: they took thousands of corals out of the sea to save them from a killer ocean heatwave. Hot tub-like temperatures might have wiped them out otherwise. Now, what’s next?
The Verge visited the evacuated corals where they found temporary refuge on land. We spent time at a gene bank, home to a new generation of baby corals that could one day repopulate Florida’s reefs. And we learned how to map restoration efforts out in the open ocean.
It’s all part of a massive effort to safeguard a future for coral reefs on which thousands of other species and people depend. And, it turns out, the rescuers are already preparing for next summer. After all, temperatures keep rising with climate change, stressing reefs that have already suffered huge losses. That’s why conservationists have to keep pushing the envelope.
Check out the video above to meet some of the people working together on this mission, and see the extremes they’re braving to accomplish it no matter what comes next.