Coral Restoration


Coral reefs worldwide are exposed to multiple human threats and persisting global change impacts, causing coral degradation.  Here, in the Tropical Eastern Pacific corals are damaged by fishing, runoff and sedimentation from rivers, runoff from agriculture and from human populations. All of these factors call for action and the development of restoration methodologies. We are developing a two-step restoration operation: with an in situ nursery phase and then transplantation of nursery-farmed coral colonies. Healthy coral stock material is collected from wild populations on nearby reefs and grow in the nursery to a size suitable for out-planting back to the natural reef.

Currently we are farming 3 different genus of endemic stony or hard coral.

If you would like to come and work with us on our coral rehabilitation project here in Manuel Antonio we offer three options to choose from.

Pavona gigantea 

(Scleractinia Agariciidae)

Pavona comes in various formations, here it tends to grown in  lobulated or plated colonies. When the tentacles are visible, the colony has a furry look. Pavona has an  orange, brown or pinkish colour in this region. It is normally found in the  between 10 and 30 m depth range and is quite slow growing.

Porites lobata 

(Scleractinia Poritidae ) 

Porites colonies are encrusting and can reach several meters in diameter. Polyps are very small, pentagonal and and look like little pores. So it is easy to remember it’s called porites. They are normally found in 12-20m and a quite slow growing. Colonies often display scars and white markings caused by fish bites and are a generally beige or greenish in colour


(Scleractinia Pocilloporidae) 

Pocillopora is a branching colony with quite short  branches. It is normally brown to greenish in color. and Found slightly shallower in the 5-15m depth range.

They grow well in stronger currents or surge and grow reasonably quickly for a stony coral.

Coral Restoration certification

Learn all about our coral nursery here in Manuel Antonio with this informative program. First is a 1 day course learning all about coral restoration programs including how they are set up and maintained. A lot of research goes into the viability of these programs and this course delves into the theory behind it. If you choose the 2 day program then you, the diver, will have an exciting tour of the nursery as well.

Coral Discovery Program

Join us for a whole week on our Coral discovery program. Take part in our PADI coral restoration certification before heading out onto the reef and putting your theory into practice. The week includes dives onto the nursery, helping to maintain it as well as taking information on the progress of the coral growth. During your week you will also take part in additional unique marine conservation distinctive certifications so as to learn more about the reef and its inhabitants.

Pre-requisites for the Coral Discovery

  1. PADI Advanced open water certification
  2. Minimum 20 logged dives 

What is included

  1. PADI Coral restoration certification
  2. 1 additional conservation specialty
  3. At least 10 dives
  4. All equipment and materials
  5. Donation to MCCR

Price is $929 per person includine rental of BCD, regulator, weights and tanks. You will need to have your own mask, snorkel, fins and dive watch/computer.

Coral Restoration Internship

Come join us for a 2 week to 1 month internship working alongside our MCCR team. Learn about our coral restoration project and the work that our team does on the reef here in Costa Rica. Learn all about the coral nurseries and take an active role in maintaining them as well as gathering important data on their health. Also take part in additional training and research during your time, learning about all aspects of our coral reefs. 

Pre-requisites for the Coral Internship

  1. PADI Advanced open water certification
  2. Minimum 20 logged dives 

What is included

  1. PADI Coral restoration certification
  2. 2 additional conservation specialties ( 4 additional with the 1 month program)
  3. At least 16 dives on the 2 week program. 36 dives on the 1 month program.
  4. All equipment and materials
  5. Donation to MCCR 

Price of a 1 month program is $2599 including rental of BCD, regulator, weights and tanks, all certification and training and diving approximately 4-5 times a week (8-10 dives a week). You will need to have your own, mask, snorkel, fins, dive watch/computer and underwater slate and safety signalling device. Subsequent months have a cost of $1800 a month.