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Coral Restoration Foundation's™ Commitment to Excellence: Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioners Leading the Way

In the realm of ecological restoration, the Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF) stands out as a beacon of excellence, thanks to the dedication of its staff members who are Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioners (CERPs) certified by the Society for Ecological Restoration™ (SER). This certification is a testament to the organization's commitment to upholding global standards and principles, setting CRF™ apart from other practitioners in the field.


The rigorous application process for the CERP™ certification underscores its significance. Candidates must showcase a comprehensive understanding of ecological restoration, including foundational knowledge in biology, earth sciences, and geology. The certification also demands skills in monitoring, project management, and resource management. Furthermore, candidates must have at least five years of full-time professional experience, involvement in three significant projects, and recommendations from three professional references attesting to their restoration experience.


In the words of Coral Restoration Foundation’s™ Restoration Manager Phanor Montoya-Maya, "In the restoration industry, adhering to best practices is a hallmark of quality. This certification confirms that an organization’s staff possesses the requisite credentials, credibility, and professionalism, which is then reflected in the organization’s overall image." This certification is crucial for ensuring the success of ecological restoration projects and opens doors to better funding opportunities due to enhanced organizational credibility.


The CERP™ certification is not only about individual recognition; it plays a vital role in fostering a community of passionate and qualified professionals. As Coral Restoration Foundation’s™ Sr. Reef Restoration Associate Sam Burrell emphasizes, "I believe that any organization dedicated in some capacity to ecological restoration would benefit as it lends credibility to the work we all do." In an industry that is still in its infancy, this certification helps define the standards necessary for proper ecological restoration.


Acknowledged by the SER™, the CERP™ certification is a mark of professionalism in ecological and restoration practice. It signifies that the recipient is a leader in the field, demonstrating the necessary knowledge and experience to conduct restoration according to global standards. The certification is part of a larger effort by SER™ to improve and standardize the way ecological restoration is accomplished globally.


For CRF™, the CERP™ certification aligns seamlessly with its long-term goals of standardizing ecological restoration practices and transforming restoration into an industry career. As Sam Burrell attests, "CERP™ lines up very well with CRF’s™ own long-term goals; both are dedicated to standardizing the way ecological restoration is performed so that restoration can be viewed as an industry career, not just a job."


The CERP™ certification serves as a badge of honor for Coral Restoration Foundation™ and its staff, showcasing their dedication to carrying out coral restoration through the best practices available. By investing in the certification of its team members, CRF™ not only elevates its own credibility but also contributes to the growth and professionalization of the ecological restoration industry as a whole.

CRF™ currently has four CERP™ certified practitioners on our team: 

Jessica Levy, Director of Restoration Strategy

Phanor Montoya-Maya, Ph.D, Reef Restoration Program Manager

Sam Burrell, Senior Reef Restoration Associate

Nikkie Cox, Reef Restoration Program Coordinator

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