Gator Halpern

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Gator Halpern

2017 Climate Fellow
Founder of Coral Vita with Sam Teicher

Gator Halpern 2017 Climate Fellow

Bold Idea 

Reverse the rapid decline of global coral reefs by restoring degraded sites with a diverse range of climate change resilient corals through an innovative commercial farming model.


Gator Halpern learning the intricacies of microfragmentation from Coral Vita advisor Dr. David Vaughan at the Mote Marine Lab. Photo courtesy of the Mote Marine Lab.

Gator Halpern appreciates a healthy Elkhorn coral while surveying a possible restoration site in the Bahamas. Photo courtesy of Sam Teicher.

Coral Vita brings dying reefs back to life by growing climate change resilient corals and transplanting them into degraded reefs. Coral Vita works with the world's leading coral scientists to incorporate the latest coral farming methodologies, which enables Coral Vita to grow corals at rates up to 50 times natural speeds. This also allows Coral Vita to boost the coral's resiliency against the warming and acidifying ocean conditions that threaten their survival. By creating coral farms in tropical countries all around the world, Coral Vita will help sustain reefs for generations to come.


Gator is the co-founder of Coral Vita, a company that grows climate change resilient corals to revive dying coral reefs. Fully committed to bringing about a more harmonious relationship between society and the environment, Gator has worked on a wide range of different environmental projects, from urban development in Brazilian favelas to agricultural land-use change in rural South Africa. Prior to starting Coral Vita, he worked with indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon researching the impact of fish farming on deforestation rates. Gator co-founded Coral Vita while getting his master's degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he received Yale University's first ever Green Innovation Fellowship. He has a B.A. in environmental analysis from Pomona College, and was a Fellow at the World Wildlife Fund's Global Marine Program.

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