"Diving In" to May 2020 with the Coral Chronicles

CORALPALOOZA™ IS GOING DIGITAL


If you follow CRF™ on social media, you've probably seen our big announcement regarding Coralpalooza™ 2020. We're taking the event virtual!



For the past five years, on World Oceans Day, Coral Restoration Foundation™ has taken out an army of ocean lovers to actively restore coral reefs in Florida and around the world.  This year, however, the world is a little bit different. But, like a healthy coral reef, we are resilient and we can adapt.


Even though we can't get together in person, we are staying true to the spirit of Coralpalooza™ with an action-packed day of celebrating coral reefs - online! So mark your calendars for June 6, 2020 and stay tuned. We'll be sharing registration details and ways that you can get involved soon.


But what will it look like?

Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 will take place on a fully interactive digital platform where you can explore:

  • Digital Booths to live chat with coral experts from around the world​

  • Never-before-seen content including videos, workshops, and pictures

  • Exclusive presentations and interviews with world experts on coral reefs and ocean conservation

  • The CRF™ Kid's Zone hosted by Captain Coral himself!

  • A digital treasure hunt to win CRF™ swag

  • Live link ups to our staff on the water where they will be outplanting corals to restore our reefs

The best part?

You can take part for FREE from wherever you are in the world!

Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 registration opens soon!

Follow us on social media, and we'll let you know when you can register.


I want to share my passion for corals!

Yay! Submit a 10-second video telling us about your #CoralPassion, and it could be chosen to broadcast on our social media channels or to all the Corapalooza™ Digital 2020 attendees! 


Upload your #CoralPassion video on our website by May 20, 2020.


You're not going to want to miss our first online celebration of coral reefs! We'll see you on World Oceans Day, June 6, 2020.


WELCOME BACK, JD


Meet JD Reinbott - CRF's new Volunteer Coordinator!


JD actually joined the CRF™ team in 2018 as an intern. After his year-long internship with us, he spent 6 months in Costa Rica managing the daily operations of Marine Conservation Costa Rica before returning to CRF™ as a full-time staff member.


JD at Carysfort Reef. © Coral Restoration Foundation


In Costa Rica, JD also worked as a PADI MSDT with a direct focus on conservation related distinctive specialties. Originally from New Jersey, he's been obsessed with the ocean for as long as he can remember. He studied marine science and aquaculture/aquarium science at the University of New England.


While a student, he spent time in the waters of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System where he worked remotely within the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Here, he collected metrics on coral population abundance, predation, disease, and bleaching. If you couldn't already tell, he's a complete coral nerd!


We loved having JD on our team as an intern, and we're even more excited to have him with us as a full-time staff member. Continue reading to learn about his love for coral reefs and our marine world!


JD in his natural habitat. © JD Reinbott


What is your earliest memory of the ocean?

As a native New Jerseyan (yes that's an actual term), I spent the majority of my summers down the shore. While I had my fair share of getting thrown around in the waves and focusing a bit too much on the 'T' of GTL, the thing I looked forward to the most was getting to explore the various tide pools spread along the beach. I remember constantly being amazed by the endless amounts of critters that I would find, from crabs to seastars and everything else in between. Growing up, I could always be found nose deep in some marine science-related book but getting the chance to look into these mini-oceans gave me a feeling those books never could. 


What past experience, professional or personal, led you to CRF™?

Throughout my time as a marine science student at the University of New England, I struggled to find a specific aspect within the field to focus on. It wasn't until my junior year, when I signed up for a coral biology course, that I discovered my true passion in life. If I am being honest, at the time I didn't really care about corals and only signed up to go on the course's associated field trip to Belize. But the moment my professor, Dr. Jeri Fox, started speaking, I fell in love with those weird little cnidarians. During the trip, my classmates were focused on seeing sharks and rays but all I cared about was being able to hold my breath long enough to spend another moment staring at a coral colony. Since I'm in no way shape or form a world champion freediver, I had to do the next best thing, SCUBA. Soon enough I traveled back down to the waters of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef to intern for Global Visions International where I collected various metrics on coral abundance and health. It was during my two months here that I noticed a stark difference in the reef system that I had seen only six months earlier. So much of the reef showed signs of death, disease, and bleaching, and that really inspired me to start using my time underwater to make a difference. Fast forward a few months, and I'm now moving to Florida to start my time as an intern for Coral Restoration Foundation™. I interned here for a year, spent some time working as a PADI MSDT and Coral Program Manager with Marine Conservation Costa Rica in Quepos, and am now back and coral nerdier than ever! 

Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?

As much as I hate to be THAT guy, I truly care about coral reefs because someone has to. When you think about other endangered organisms like dolphins, turtles, and seals, they are all these charismatic megafauna that pretty much everyone loves; animals that are constantly under the view of the public eye and almost always receive public outcry when something goes wrong. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that or that people should stop caring, but coral doesn't normally get that same level of reception. We run the risk of having these vital organisms, as well as an entire ecosystem, silently disappear beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine oceans. An action that would not only have devastating impacts on us as humans but also on those other organisms mentioned before. Coral needs someone in its corner ready to yell and scream when things go wrong. 

What do you like most about being a part of the CRF™ team? Getting to dive on restoration sites and see corals that I personally have outplanted back onto the Florida Reef Tract. Remember that feeling I was talking about earlier? I get it every single time I see a cluster of healthy staghorn or elkhorn coral out on the reef. It's like looking into a tide pool or walking into an aquarium for the very first time and falling deeply in love with the ocean again. 

What is your favorite marine creature? This is always my favorite question and anyone who has ever gone diving with me knows because of my underwater geek-out sessions. An octopus. They are by far the most fascinating organisms on the planet and my dive buddies literally have to drag me away from one by my fin tips (unless of course they want to spend their entire dive hovering in one place, trust me, it has been done before). 


JD SCUBA diving. © JD Reinbott What’s your favorite part about your position? Getting the chance to work with the coral crusaders that are our volunteers. These individuals play a key role in both the restoration and educational aspects of our organization, and we truly wouldn't be able to achieve the amazing work that we do without their countless hours of hard work, both on land and underwater. While they all come from various walks of life, at the end of the day they all share the same passion for corals. Their dedication is a glimmer of hope for the future of our reefs down here in Florida but also around the world. 

What advice can you give to someone who’d like to work in a role like yours? Never give up. As tacky as that sounds, it is something that those interested in this field need to hear. I was fortunate enough to have family and friends who stood behind me and my dreams to become this crazy coral person, but not everyone is that lucky. Know that this field isn't the easiest to get into, but if it's something you truly want, never stop fighting for it regardless of what others say, do, or think. Because in the end, it is totally worth it. 

Why should the average person care about coral reefs? Without reefs the entire world we know could change forever. It doesn't matter if you live on the coast or thousands of miles from the ocean, in one way or another corals impact your life. These complex ecosystems protect our coastlines, support our economy, provide jobs for countless people, and are home to a wide array of marine life that we all love. The idea of a world without coral is a scary thought, and something I truly hope no one ever lives to see. 

What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction? I think the easiest thing that everyone can do is simply educate themselves on the impacts that their day to day actions have on reefs. Whether it be the food you eat, the products you use, or the companies you support, your actions have some connection back to the sea. Reach out to established organizations to get proper information and slowly work your way to a more eco-conscious lifestyle. That doesn't mean cutting meat entirely from your diet or walking your 20 miles to work but taking small steps in the right direction. On top of that, you can also support reef restoration organizations and get involved. Volunteer positions, internships, and everything else in between are all amazing ways to challenge yourself while also helping protect these truly unique organisms. Oh, and maybe if you have time, enroll in that coral biology course, it could change your entire life. 


ZOOM VIDEO BACKGROUNDS ARE HERE


Thanks to Tinsley Advertising, you can spice up your next work meeting or family catch-up with a custom CRF™ video background!


You can download three different video backgrounds: one of our coral nursery, one of a coral reef, and one of staghorn coral.


CRF™ Coral Nursery video background. © Coral Restoration Foundation™


CRF™ coral reef video background. © Coral Restoration Foundation™


CRF™ staghorn coral video background. © Coral Restoration Foundation™


Once you've downloaded each video here, follow these instructions to set up a virtual video background in Zoom:


1. First, make sure you "Enable" Virtual Backgrounds by going to "Settings" at zoom.us in a web browser


2. Once enabled, open Zoom on your desktop or browser


3. Join or create a new meeting


4. Once in the meeting, look to the bottom left corner and see an option to "Stop Video." Don’t click it! To the right is an upward arrow, "^," click the arrow


5. When clicking the arrow, you will see an option to "Choose virtual background," click that option


6. That will take you to a new window in "Settings" where you can choose from a default background or upload your own


7. To upload video file of your choice, click the "+" on the right of the video screen in the "Settings" window


8. Select the video and click "Open"


*Please note that it's normal to see the Coral Restoration Foundation™ logo reversed on your screen. The other party will see the logo correctly.


CRF™ Interns Krista and Sabine using CRF™ virtual video backgrounds on Zoom.

© Coral Restoration Foundation™


If you love our virtual video backgrounds, take a screenshot with one and tag us on social. We can't wait to share it!


YOUR STUDENT WILL LOVE THIS

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!

This week, we're featuring Anthropogenic Aftermath.

Staghorn coral on the Florida Reef Tract. © Alex Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™

This interdisciplinary activity encourages students to think about the current conditions of the Florida Reef Tract, and humans’ effects on this habitat.

It has the ability to have a long-term impact on both corals and ocean stewardship at large, giving the students an understanding of anthropogenic effects and a chance to help save our reefs.

Anthropogenic Aftermath can be adapted to a single day or longer, with the inclusion of a compare/contrast with other barrier reefs, math, and language art extensions. And as with all of our activity packs, you can adjust it for students K-12!

You'll need:

  • Camera

  • Video editing software

  • Internet access

  • Computer

  • Additional supplies to make PSA

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.

"Diving In" Editorial Intern

Sabine is a recent graduate from Northern Arizona University where she earned a B.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with an emphasis in Global Sustainability and a minor in German. Growing up in Colorado, she did not have easy access to the water, but went on multiple family vacations to islands and beaches along the East Coast of the U.S. These vacations sparked a lifelong love for the ocean and the marine environment. She became SCUBA certified in 2018 in order to intern at COREsea, a research

and education organization in Thailand.

Being immersed in the reefs around the island of Koh Phangan daily for 6 weeks hooked her on both the sport of diving and the conservation of coral reefs. Observing intense bleaching, mortality, and loss of biodiversity on the reefs inspired Sabine to focus her energy on the conservation and restoration of coral ecosystems. She is excited to expand her knowledge and get more hands-on experience in coral restoration as well as share her passion for the ocean and the future of coral reefs through outreach and education programs with CRF™.

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©2020 by Coral Restoration Foundation™

Headquarters

89111 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, Florida 33070

 

Exploration Center

5 Seagate Blvd, Key Largo, Florida 33037

(Next to the Pilot House Restaurant & Marina)

(305) 453-7030

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