Project Lead

The National Parks Authority (NPA).

Project Description

The NPA is mandated by its legislation to preserve, protect, manage and develop the natural, ecological and physical resources and the historical architectural cultural heritage of the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park (NDNP). The marine areas, which cover 45% of the NDNP, and are home to a variety of marine ecosystems, inclusive of Mangrove Wetlands, Sandy flats, Seagrass beds and Coral Reefs. These ecosystems in turn provide a variety of services, including water filtration, habitat provision, coastal protection and biodiversity support, which are essential in the maintenance of the aesthetics and function of the NDNP.

A parent colony of Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) which was used to supply fragments for the nursery.
Photo by Ruleo Camacho

Marine surveys carried out on 13 sites within the NDNP in 2019, using the Atlantic Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) survey methodology, indicated that coral cover was low, averaging 6% among all sites (Camacho et al. 2020; Camacho 2019). In response to this, the NPA is now assessing tools through which to address the low coral cover and falling health of the marine space within the NDNP. Coral Restoration is a primary tool, which when used in conjunction with enhanced marine management methods, can aid in increasing the quantity of live coral on a coral reef ecosystem and promote the improved health of the marine space.
This project looks at the use of coral trees to establish a Acropora Nursery at within the Nelson Dockyard National Park (NDNP). These corals will be outplanted to various coral reef areas within the park to improve coral health. This project will work with other initiatives aimed at improving the overall management and understanding of the marine spaces within the NDNP, with the overall objective of improving the health of the marine ecosystems.
Project Objectives
• To establish a coral nursery within the Nelson Dockyard National Park.
• To enhance the health of coral reef ecosystems within the Nelson Dockyard National Park.
• To collaborate with partner organizations to improve the health of marine ecosystems around Antigua and Barbuda.
• To facilitate awareness and public education on the importance of healthy coral reefs.

Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) fragment growing on a coral tree.

Photo by Ruleo Comacho

Marine Ecologist Ruleo Camacho conducting biological measurements to assess growth rates in the coral nursery.

Photo by Ruleo Comacho

Project Support

At this stage, the project is currently internally funded, with assistance from local dive operators (Dive Carib and Soul Immersion). Future expansion is projected to require external funding. If you are interested in getting involved in this project, please contact Mr. Ruleo Camacho at or



NDNP Boundary Map


English Harbour, Antigua


Monday – Friday
08:00 AM – 05:00 PM

08:00 AM – 05:00 PM