Numerous coral reef mitigation and restoration projects have been conducted in Hawaii and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands. This chapter reviews the results of these projects and presents a summary of what has been learned. Many of the projects involved transplantation of corals away from proposed construction sites into adjacent areas. Initial transplant mortality was generally low, but long-term mortality often was high due to wave damage and other adverse environmental conditions in the transplant receiving areas. Transplants in wave-sheltered areas showed better long-term success. The terms




often are taken to mean reef repair, coral transplantation, or construction of additional habitat (e.g., artificial reefs). However, experience in the Pacific has shown that other feasible options are available. Removal of anthropogenic stress allows natural regeneration processes to occur and often is the most effective approach in remediation. In many situations the natural rates of reef recovery are very rapid, and direct human intervention is unnecessary. Where restoration of a damaged reef is not feasible, a negotiated financial settlement or financial penalties can be used to establish trust funds or undertake other activities that will offset the environmental damage. Managers must develop broad strategic plans and incorporate a wide range of approaches designed to fit each situation on a case-by-case basis. Although protection is the top priority, damage to reefs from various causes will inevitably occur. In these situations direct restoration and mitigation measures must be considered. The cost of reef repair and coral transplantation can be high but effectiveness is generally very low. Protection and conservation, rather than restoration of damaged reefs, is the preferred priority. There is no point in restoring a damaged reef that will continue to be impacted by pollutants. Also, unscrupulous developers or polluters could use a token restoration or mitigation effort as a means of achieving their aims at the expense of the environment; thus, vigilance is required.