Reef Rescue

Scientists are racing against time to create corals that survive in warmer oceans. Can they do it before it’s too late?

In the last 50 years, we have lost roughly half of the planet’s coral. These vital underwater ecosystems are being wiped out by overfishing, pollution, and more catastrophically, rising water temperatures due to climate change. Scientists predict that in 30 years, nearly all of the world’s coral will be lost, as part of an environmental disaster threatening food security for hundreds of millions of people worldwide and irreparably harming ocean ecosystems. But new ground-breaking scientific discoveries are offering a glimmer of hope.

Reef Rescue follows scientists unlocking the secrets of how coral has evolved over millions of years. Their experiments using the revolutionary new approach of assisted evolution, to reproduce super coral that will resurrect dead or dying reefs the world over. In a world where most of the coral are dying, this research will help scientists discover why some coral are surviving and how this knowledge can be applied to save the rest. 

All over the world, in some of the planet’s worst coral bleaching events, some coral have mysteriously managed to survive. As scientists study their amazing properties, three scientists 

are on the forefront of this research: Ruth Gates at the Gates Lab in Hawaii; Madeleine Van Oppen at the Australian Institute of Marine Science at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia; and Julia Baum at the Baum Lab, University of Victoria, in Canada. These super women of super coral, along with biologists Greg Asner and Andrew Baker, are racing against time to rescue coral reefs.

Now Available to stream on CBC Gem