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Reefscape Restoration Initiative

The KAUST Reefscape Restoration Initiative is a large-scale coral reef restoration program in the Red Sea in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), begun in 2021 and funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a world-class graduate research university in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea north of Jeddah, in partnership with NEOM, a region in northwest Saudi Arabia that is being sustainably developed from the ground up with the world’s most advanced technologies to redefine how people live, work, and play.

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Project Description


Reefscape Restoration

Project Director

Tom Moore


Coral reefs are a vibrant, vital part of the world’s oceans. They are home to over 25% of all marine life – providing food security for nearly a billion people. Warming oceans are causing coral reefs to fail. Over 50% of the world’s reefs have died in just the past 30 years.

KAUST has created new ways of growing corals and restorating reefscape using advanced technologies.Through this innovation, KAUST can conserve, enhance and restore coral reefs and make corals more resilient to the challenging ocean conditions of tomorrow.

The Reefscape Restoration Initiative at Shushah Island will be the world’s largest single reef restoration site. The project will show that it’s possible to enhance and restore reefs on a large scale, by combining industrial-scale aquaculture to grow and plant hundreds of thousands of corals a year.
The project is beginning in-water operations this year with a pilot coral nursery under construction. Plans are being finalized to build the world’s largest and most technologically-advanced coral nursery in NEOM. A research center where academics and tourists can learn more about the ongoing restoration project will be built.