Grow Coral Grow!


Check out how much our Staghorn Coral fragments have grown since last July – it’s pretty incredible to see how much they’ve grown! We’ve raised generations of coral at Birch Aquarium via coral propagation to help with coral conservation efforts! Our aquarists mimic nature and carefully fragment coral into smaller pieces. With proper care, these small coral fragments can grow into new coral colonies. Over the years, we’ve given hundreds of coral fragments to Scripps researchers and accredited aquariums worldwide.

Staghorn Coral fragments in aquarium, 2022 and 2023.
Staghorn Coral fragments from summer July 2022 (left). Staghorn Coral fragments from March 2023 (right).

Coral Reefs are one of the most biodiverse places on our planet – although coral reefs cover less than 0.1 percent of Earth’s surface, they’re home to almost 25 percent of all marine life! However, these ecosystems are extremely fragile. Today, coral populations are in decline around the world due to climate change, ocean acidification and destructive fishing practices. Our work at the aquarium helps reduce pressures on wild populations and supports important research all over the world.

Close up view of Staghorn Coral fragments (March 2023).
Close up view of Staghorn Coral fragments (March 2023).

Sharing our Coral

Last summer, we sent coral from Birch Aquarium about 500 miles up the California coast to our friends over at the Steinhart Aquarium at California Academy of Sciences! Behind the scenes, our aquarists mimicked nature and carefully fragmented coral into smaller pieces – these fragments were then packed up and transported up the coast to the Steinhart Aquarium at Cal Academy. Next, biologists donned SCUBA gear and skillfully placed these corals in the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit, using epoxy to secure them. Check out the video below to see this coral collaboration in action!