CRF™ AT THE CRC
At the beginning of March, our CEO, Scott Winters, and Restoration Program Manager, Jessica Levy, traveled to Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica to meet with a community of coral restoration experts from around the world known as the Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC). Coral Restoration Foundation™ is a cofounder of this organization along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scott Winters is a co-chair of the Coral Restoration Consortium and Jessica Levy is a co-coordinator.
Working group chair, David Suggett, presents to the Leadership team the future directions for the Field Based Working Group. © Coral Restoration Foundation
The mission of the CRC is to provide the means for scaling up restoration efforts by promoting collaboration among scientists, coral restoration practitioners, managers, and educators in order to enable the survival and restoration of Earth’s coral reefs throughout the 21st century and for centuries to come.
The CRC’s leadership team meets every two years as a group to discuss the priorities of coral restoration throughout the world in order to understand the steps that need to be taken going forward. These meetings are vital to help guide CRC efforts and the goals of the six working groups.
CRC leadership team composed of Chairs of the Regional and Working groups, Steering committee members, and Executive Team (left). Jessica Levy and her dive buddies from around the world enjoy their safety stop after exploring a rocky reef site known as Tortuga, off the coast of Playa Hermosa (right).
Scott and Jess continue to share the information and knowledge they gained at the CRC’s March meeting with the CRF™ team and implementing it into our restoration program. While in Costa Rica, Scott and Jessica also had the opportunity to dive into the waters off the coast and discover the rocky reefs of the Pacific as you can see above. CRF™ would like to give a big thanks to the sponsors of the event: Raising Coral Costa Rica, German Cooperation for Development, GIZ, Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC), Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE).
RESTORATION DOESN'T SKIP A BEAT
The restoration team is excited to announce that we have completed our 2020 annual outplanting goals for elkhorn coral at Carysfort Reef. While we've been working on this effort since February, on March 12, 2020, we took two boats out to Carysfort Reef to outplant elkhorn corals to meet the remaining quota. A group of staff, interns, and volunteers joined us to fragment and outplant these corals.
CRF™ Intern Jesseca Dale frags corals for outplanting (top). Outpanted elkhorn corals on Carysfort Reef (bottom). © Coral Restoration Foundation
We successfully outplanted a total of 550 elkhorn coral to reach our goal number! These outplants were placed on a new area of Carysfort reef. Slowly but surely, we are working towards ecosystem level recovery. Although our numbers have been met, we plan to outplant many more corals here as part of our large-scale restoration effort in 2020.
FREE, AT-HOME ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR STUDENT
Looking for fun, educational activities to do at home with your student? CRF™ has a series of educational packs available on our website for students of all ages to learn about coral and marine science while having hands-on fun!
Magnified staghorn coral spawning at night. © Alex Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™
This week, we're featuring Gamete and Greet.
Many organisms reproduce during a limited season. These patterns are specialized to aid the survival of each particular species. But reef-building corals carry this pattern to an extreme, with nearly all the colonies on a reef spawning in a single night, and neighboring colonies spawning just a day or two apart.
Is this an advantage for the corals? Is there a way we can test this pattern of reproduction statistically? This interdisciplinary activity encourages students to think about questions related to spawning and then perform their own test! Students will learn about the spawning habits of stony coral and will test if there is an advantage to mass spawning via a statistical model.
This activity pack can be adapted to a single day or longer, with the inclusion of art, math, and language arts extensions. And as with all of our activity packs, you can adjust Gamete and Greet for students K-12!
Square area on the floor between 1/4 and 1 meter sides
Click here to access the activity pack. All you have to do is enter your basic contact information, and you’ll be immediately directed to download this activity pack.
To access a complete list of CRF™ activity packs, click here.
"Bringing It Back" Editorial Interns
Jim has always found happiness in the ocean. Starting with family vacations being the last one out of the water to the point where his Dad had to yell “shark!” to get him out of the water. Jim has been diving since he was 13 years old and knew he wanted to have a life involved with the ocean. Jim graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a degree in Biology and a specialization in marine science. Jim was involved in the BGSU marine laboratory and internships with SECORE (Sexual Coral Reproduction). Once Jim saw his first coral spawn and how so many organisms appreciated and revolved around corals he was hooked. Jim continued to work with SECORE to continue the excitement for two more workshops. He also broadened his spectrum volunteering with the Smithsonian Institution looking at the effects of climate change on the Gulf of Maine. Seeing how so many species are affected by climate change in cold and warm water made him want to pursue marine conservation. After school, Jim worked in bleacher construction but knew he wanted to make a positive difference in planetary ecology and found CRF™. Jim is very excited and eager to be a part of CRF™ and its mission to restore coral reefs.
Ashton has been mesmerized by the ocean since she can remember. She visited the beach for the first time when she was six months old and has since spent countless summer days on Alabama and Florida’s coasts. It wasn’t until she visited the Hawaiian Islands that she realized the condition the coral reefs were in – appalled to find dead coral rubble, drained of almost all life. Unfortunately, as Ashton traveled to other tropical destinations she found the same thing - bleached, diseased, algae-smothered, and dead coral. Ashton attended Auburn University and studied Conservation of Organismal Biology to begin her search for answers to this crisis. While at Auburn, she completed field and lab-based research focusing on marine biology. She joined Operation Wallacea during the summer of 2018 and completed field research on the monitoring methods of coral reefs at Akumal Bay, Mexico with hopes to find the quickest and most efficient way to monitor reefs on a global scale. In 2019, Ashton completed research in Dr. Nanette Chadwick’s lab on the major modes and rates of clonal replication of the corallimorpharian, Ricordia florida. As a new graduate, Ashton is ecstatic to be an intern with CRF™; fulfilling her dream of restoring the coral reefs and educating the public about marine conservation.