Public Admin Record

MDBC Coral Propagation Technique Development (CPT) Project Records

This is a public repository for the MDBC Coral Propagation Technique Development (CPT) Project. This includes documents and products that are pertinent to the CPT Project and stakeholders but are not appropriate for the MDBC Portfolio Deliverables repository, or archives like NCEI and the NOAA Institutional Repository. Project reports and documents are also available on the DWH Restoration Portal project record. Documents and products related to the other project teams (MGM, HAE, and AMP) and Portfolio Deliverables can be accessed by navigating to the DWH MDBC Portfolio Project Page.

About the Coral Propagation Technique Development Project [click to display]

The most direct approach to restoring mesophotic and deep benthic communities (MDBC) is to facilitate the growth of new corals, and to accelerate an otherwise protracted natural recovery due to the slow growth rates and low recruitment of corals at these depths. The primary goal of this pilot scale project is to develop techniques that can be used for direct restoration of MDBC at a scale that is meaningful relative to the injury to these communities. The stated objectives are to compensate for the loss of corals injured by the DWH oil spill, b) develop methods and techniques to enhance coral recruitment and growth, and c) recommend successful methods to implement at a large scale for restoration. One key outcome of the project is to assess whether techniques can be applied at scales meaningful in the scope and context of DWH injury to MDBC.

The Coral Propagation Techniques project (CPT) will undertake both field and lab work to test a variety of substrates for their coral recruitment potential, and to test a variety of coral propagation techniques. Some preliminary testing of substrates and techniques in laboratory settings will be necessary, but the CPT project will seek primarily to test substrates and techniques in situ (in the natural location). The work is planned for both mesophotic and deep water coral habitats using technical divers and submersible platforms. Lab work will also be conducted to adapt and develop cultivation techniques. These methods and techniques will ultimately be applied at scales necessary for effective enhancement of coral recruitment and growth.

About the MDBC Portfolio [click to display]

In 2016, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees reached a settlement resulting from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process to resolve BP Exploration and Production’s liability for natural resource injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the settlement requires BP to pay up to $8.8 billion dollars to federal and state trustees for the purposes of restoring natural resources that were injured by the spill, and the services they provided. More details can be found at the Deepwater Horizon NRDA page: A Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico.

The DWH Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group (OO TIG) includes the four federal Trustee agencies: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI); U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The trustees work together to plan and conduct restoration for species injured by the oil spill, including wide-ranging and migratory species. Questions about the OO TIG can be directed to Additional information can be found in the DWH Administrative Record.

Mesophotic and deep benthic communities (MDBC) are vast and complex ecosystems on the ocean floor that are a foundation of Gulf of Mexico food webs. The MDBC portfolio is a suite of four projects selected by the OO TIG to restore MDBC injured by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The four projects include: Mapping, Ground-truthing, and Predictive Habitat Modeling (MGM), Habitat Assessment and Evaluation (HAE), Coral Propagation Technique Development (CPT), and Active Management and Protection (AMP).