Super Coral Programme


Protecting marine ecosystems and coral beds around Ocean Cay

Environmental Conservation
MSC Foundation projects | MSC Foundation

The United Nations estimates that the 1,600 varieties of coral on Earth largely face extinction in the wild within the 21st century due to climate change. The Super Coral Programme is our effort to help prevent that. 

The MSC Foundation is working with leading coral and marine experts to research, develop, test and refine methods to reverse the decline in coral reefs in the 64-square-mile marine environment around Ocean Cay. Coral reefs support the highest biological diversity of any ecosystem in The Bahamas and are home to ecologically, economically and critically endangered species. Therefore, the aim is to rebuild the reefs through pioneering the development of coral that is more resilient to environmental threats like ocean pollution and warming.

Ocean Cay is an island 20 miles south of Bimini, The Bahamas, and 65 miles east of Miami, Florida. It was formerly a sand-mining site, abandoned in late 2015 after the decades of mining operations.

During the development works to restore the island, a team of marine biologists and expert divers carefully removed individual hard coral colonies from debris on the ocean bed and relocated them with the longer-term vision of encouraging the coral to grow and repopulate. Actions were taken to create a sustainable biodiverse environment, planting 4,600 trees and palms and 75,000 plants and shrubs across the island.

During this work, experts discovered the following:
- A total of 826 corals were identified, measured and their condition assessed within 160 m2 of the seafloor
- 3,249 fish belonging to 88 different species

According to the experts, the key to reversing the rapid decline in coral reefs lies in assisting coral’s natural selection process by establishing certain hardy species and varieties, dubbed “super coral”, which are more resilient to severe environmental stresses like extreme heat.

The MSC Foundation is directly advancing this work
 by establishing a unique research facility focused on super Coral propagation, supporting universities and applied graduate research to refine our understanding of super coral and raising awareness, providing the opportunity for Ocean Cay visitors to learn and experience marine conservation and restoration efforts. 

The programme has a research and education component by which graduate students from Florida based universities will be completing their studies and acquiring advanced skills and competences to be the next generation of marine conservation experts. Thus, this programme is about saving the coral reefs, mitigating the impact of climate change and safeguarding under water life so needed for many livelihoods and costal / marine related populations, but also it will create a pull of experts able to perpetuate, expand, and continue protecting the blue planet. 

Help the MSC Foundation reverse the decline in coral reefs around Ocean Cay with a donation today!



of reefs support of all marine life


of all coral has died-off in the last 30 years


of 100s of acres of coral off Ocean Cay have already perished

Up to 90%

of global reef could be lost by 2030 due to ocean warming, pollution and overfishing