$1 Million Grant Keeps ‘Super Coral’ Research Alive

Scientists will continue the work of the late Ruth Gates to develop corals that are more resistant to the effects of climate change and create reefs that provide natural coastal protection.

A team of coral scientists is stoked to start the New Year with a $1 million grant that will let them continue the innovative restoration research led by the late Ruth Gates, who was director of the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology until her death last month at age 56.

“It gives us a lot of optimism moving forward,” Kira Hughes, project manager at the Gates Coral Lab in Kaneohe Bay, said Wednesday. “She really laid out where she wanted the research to go, so that makes it really easy for us to follow her vision.”

The announcement of the grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation came less than two weeks after Gates’ death. Scientists were feeling down, and concerned about how they were going to move forward, especially with future funding uncertain.