Everytime I visit the Keys, I always try to work in some time learning about and doing coral restoration. On this trip, the Coral Restoration Foundation team was able to accomodate my family for the morning learning session.
I'm so excited that I was able to schedule a morning classroom session with the Coral Restoration Foundation for all of us. Since we're going to be learning a whole lot about coral from the perspective of coral restoration, I though a page about Staghorn coral - one of the most common coral species to be outplanted in coral restoration programs - would be appropriate.
As I mentioned in my last post about Stony Corals, I want to be able to identify coral by their groupings in order to make it easier to remember it's specific features and look it up later on. This section is all about octocorals (aka Gorgonians).
I recently heard from my sister that my niece is able to identify brain coral when she sees it in pictures. I know we spend a lot of time talking about things in the ocean, but it always impresses me when she can name specific animal species like that. This conversation also made me realize how few coral species I can identify by sight. Since coral can be tricky to identify - especially from a distance, this section focuses on broader categories or groupings of coral. Learning to identify which group a coral belongs to should make it easier to remember it's specific features so we can look it up later on.
My niece is at the age where she's asking lots and lots of questions. She's especially interested in learning about how different animal young are born. She recently asked me about baby fish and I'll admit I was stumped. So I had to do some research to answer her questions. I love it when she thinks of these great questions! Taking that line of questioning into account, I decided that the next section for my coloring book should be all about coral babies would be a fun thing to learn - for me as well as my niece!