In 2001, Hurricane Iris ravaged most of Belize's coral reefs. Now, a community-driven project is showing how to restore them. In the village of Placencia, guides, fishers, divers, and snorkelers were trained to nurse the coral back to life. Coral coverage has grown from 6% to 60%, making Placencia one of the world's most successful and long-standing coral regeneration sites. The decade-long project, coordinated by the nonprofit Fragments of Hope, rests on the fact that many coral species reproduce asexually and new colonies can be created by transplanting coral cuttings. Fragments of Hope is now expanding the model to other parts of Belize. Stretching for 190 miles, the reef is home to hundreds of species of marine life, including endangered corals, jellyfish, and turtles. The region contributes about 15% to the country's GDP through employing over 200,000 people in the tourism and fishing industries.

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