Photography provided by Brilliant Studios
Our projects are intended to help educate, protect and monitor the health of the TCI environment, especially coral reefs and their inhabitants around the Turks and Caicos Islands.
You can help to protect the reefs of the Turks & Caicos Islands by adopting a coral. This program allows individuals to adopt a coral fragment that is growing in our coral nursery. This fragment is cared for in a special coral nursery until it is large enough to be transplanted onto one of our reefs. It's part of our RESCQ (Restoration of Ecosystem Services and Coral Reef Quality) Program. For only $50, you can adopt your own coral and help save the reefs.
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease is a new threat to the reefs of the TCI. It is thought to be a bacterial disease that affects over 20 species of corals, mostly the large boulder-type, slow growing, reef building corals (think brain corals and similar species). It was first observed in Florida in 2014 and appeared in the TCI in 2019. It is a fast spreading, highly lethal disease if left unattended (up to 80% mortality in some of the species). But we are using the techniques developed over the past few years by researchers in Florida to tackle the disease in the TCI with the help of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources. But the intervention process is on a coral head by coral head basis, not a reef wide intervention, so it is time consuming and labor intensive - in other words, costly. But if we do nothing, large brain corals and pillar corals (as well as other boulder corals) will likely cease to exist on the TCI reefs which would be devastating. If you would like to help us in our fight against this disease, please donate.
The Turks & Caicos Reef Fund was awarded a €50,000 grant to survey the coral reefs off the coast of East Caicos, the largest uninhabited island in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The grant was awarded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) BEST 2.0 Programme (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Oversees Countries and Territories). The completed survey forms a baseline which will allow us to monitor the ongoing health of these pristine reefs in the future and the TCRF has made a commitment to re-survey the sites at least every two years. This data will also help the local government agency responsible for environmental issues develop a plan to protect the most sensitive areas before development begins on East Caicos.
Since 2012, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund has been the lead non-governmental organization for the installation and maintenance of dive boat, snorkel boat and yacht moorings throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR). This means that the boats our tourists take to view our beautiful marine life and reefs have a place to tie off.
DECR is the local governmental agency responsible for maintaining the marine protected areas in the TCI as well as all other environmental issues. As of March 2017, we have installed 78 proper sea floor anchors (no more chains wrapped around coral heads!) and mooring lines for dive boat moorings, 16 snorkel boat moorings and 5 yacht moorings - 28 of the dive moorings and all snorkel and yacht moorings are brand new sites.
The donations from divers, snorkelers and other visitors to these islands are needed to continue this project, so please help.
Lionfish have invaded the entire Caribbean, Tropical Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. They are a menace to all native species, especially the all-important parrotfish, and consequently are a series threat to reef health around the area.
Help us track the lionfish invasion around the TCI. If you are snorkeling or diving and see a lionfish, please report it to us using our easy reporting form.