A Dedicated Marine Reserve for Super Coral

Just 65 miles away from Miami, Ocean Cay is a private 95-acre island surrounded by a designated 64-square-mile marine reserve. MSC Foundation and partners, including the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM), Nova Southeastern University (NSU), the Perry Institute for Marine Science, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and The Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM), are establishing a unique joint coral reef research program at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve to rebound the coral reefs and pioneer a Super Coral Reef around the island.

Why a Marine Reserve Is Important

  • Protects marine life and coral reefs and promotes biodiversity and larger fish populations in surrounding areas

  • Conserves the natural environment such as rebuilding coral nurseries to thrive for many years to come

  • Allows scientists to research and breed Super Coral in a dedicated protected area

  • Provides an excellent educational area for university students to study marine life

Ocean Cay: An Island With a Vision

Ocean Cay is MSC Cruises' new private island, just 65 miles from Miami in The Bahamas, surrounded by a marine reserve with 64 square miles of protected waters abundant with flourishing marine life.
Ocean Cay is a unique eco-friendly island destination where guests can connect with their natural surroundings and learn about the importance of preserving the oceans and coral reefs. The 95-acre island has been restored from a former aragonite sand extraction site into a stunning natural wonder designed to create a biodiverse and sustainable environment.

Coral Reef Restoration

Coral Garden

When it is built, Ocean Cay's coral farm will be very much like an underwater garden, with row after row of corals growing in aquatic nurseries, under sunlight and with a constant flow of seawater. Coral farmers tend to the fragments through months of care and maturation, after which the corals will be taken to a degraded reef and planted by trained restoration divers.

Academic Partners

Ocean Cay will offer a platform for academics and provide research opportunities for our partner universities: University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University. Students at these universities will earn college academic credit, and their efforts will be directed toward ensuring a healthy future for the coral reef and oceanic environment.

Research Facilities

A purpose-built scientific Conservation Center will be built, equipped with laboratories and facilities for coral research and education. Future guests will be able to visit this center to learn about the importance of preserving our oceans, marine life and coral reefs by participating in the coral restoration program in the marine reserve.
Super Coral

  • Super Coral are species of coral that have survived harsh temperatures and environmental conditions and can help existing reefs recover and rebound, if we invest in them.

  • At least 50% of Ocean Cay's coral has already suffered, although a number of hardy Super Coral species have managed to survive harsh environmental conditions including extreme thermal bleaching.
  • The MSC Foundation, and its partners, are pioneering a Super Coral Reef at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve through advanced research and the application of global, regional, and local expertise will enable a threatened coral ecosystem to thrive. 

  • Ocean Cay will become a base for marine biologists and graduate students to conduct scientific research into coral restoration.  The coral nursery in waters surrounding Ocean Cay will be used to grow and transplant healthy corals to depleted areas to ensure growth and a revived habitat.

Reducing Carbon Footprint 


Ocean Cay facilities have been developed in a way to minimize the impact on the environment.  New solutions and approaches to sustainability will continue to be developed for the future of Ocean Cay, its protected waters and its flora and fauna.


The island is equipped with a solar farm able to produce 600kW of electric power with additional storage of 150kW, designed to cover for energy needs of up to 750kW. There is only LED lighting on the island, and a smart grid manages the electricity.


Ocean Cay's zero-impact wastewater system will process wastewater and sewage in a closed loop cycle. Sewage will be treated through very advanced filtration and decontamination so it can be reused for watering the vegetation on the island.


Water will be pumped from a water well on the island and sent for desalination to a reverse osmosis plant that can produce 123,000 U.S. gallons of drinkable water per day. Water fountains can be found across the island.


Single-use plastics will not be used on the island. This includes all food service and utensils for all guests and staff. Also, all retailers have been asked to remove any non-essential plastics from all products and to not use plastic bags.


All beauty products used at the Spa Ocean Cay treatments are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Guests are encouraged to use reef-safe sunscreen, available for sale on the island.

Help Restore Coral Reefs


Learn More About Super Coral Play


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