Raising Coral
Raising Coral

Raising Coral Costa Rica

“The next century will, I believe, be the era of restoration in ecology.”   (E.O. Wilson, 1992, The Diversity of Life) 

Raising Coral is a Symbiosis


Our mission is to restore coral reefs in Costa Rica using coral propagation techniques. 

Restoring reefs naturally brings people into a symbiotic partnership with ocean life, which has sustained us for thousands of years.  


In less than 1 year, we have successfully propagated three coral species in underwater nurseries, and have outplanted them to local reefs in the beautiful Golfo Dulce.  Results have been very positive and exciting.

We also collect key environmental data to ensure our outplants will continue to grow.

Scaling up

We aim to scale our pilot operation to one that can speed up reef recovery.  

We are seeking funds for one more year of experimental research, to ensure that our techniques are both efficient and effective.

The Team

Joanie Kleypas, PhD

Joanie Kleypas is the project lead.  She is a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder CO, and studies how climate change and ocean acidification impact coral reefs.  She concentrates on finding solutions to coral reef decline.

Tatiana Villalobos

Tatiana Villalobos is the lead research assistant on the project.  Her Master's thesis at the University of Costa Rica addresses not only reef ecology, but how coral reefs benefit local communities and  how local communities can positively impact reefs.

José Andrés Marin Moraga

José Andrés Marin Moraga is a research assistant for the project.  He is a student at National University of Costa Rica, and will be pursuing research on growing the common but often difficult to progagate Porites corals. 

Alvaro Terán

Alvaro Terán is an entrepreneur and agricultural engineer with nearly 10 years of experience in businesses that promote ecological sustainability, including projects in aquaculture and reforestation.  He is currently with Kairos Investments.

Juan José Alvarado, PhD

Juan José is a professor of marine biology at University of Costa Rica's Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR).  He conducts coral reef research throughout Costa Rica.  He is currently conducting land-based coral propagation techniques.

Jorge Cortés Núñez, PhD

Jorge Cortés is Director of University of Costa Rica's Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR).  He is a world-renowned expert on Latin American coral reefs, and has published several books and many papers on the coral reefs of Costa Rica.

More Information about Raising Coral

A google map of Golfo Dulce.

A lovely article:  La odisea de “reforestar” los arrecifes ticos, (The odyssey to "reforest" Costa Rican reefs)

by Diego Arguedas Ortiz, of Oja al Clima, with this accompanying video.  ¡Gracias a Diego!

Read about us in Nature Air's inflight magazine "Landings" (click on link below)

A one page summary of Raising Coral highlights is also available.

Contact Raising Coral

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Raising Coral Contacts

Alvaro Teran, info@raisingcoral.org, 506-8835-9040 (Costa Rica)

Joanie Kleypas, info@raisingcoral.org, 506-8635-2998 (Costa Rica) 303-489-7850 (USA)

Our Sponsors

Conservation International - Costa RIca

Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge


The Heinz Awards

Thank you to The Heinz Awards - you made this project possible.

A Heinz Award made this project possible - Thank you.

Asociación Costarricense de Acuariofilia Marina