MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF 2021
2021 reminded us that healing isn’t linear in life or on the reef. So, let’s be sure to celebrate our successes because they’re the parts that count the most. Education changed so much in 2020, and it continued to evolve in 2021.
January, February, March
January saw our first in-person intern training since Covid began! Not only was it marvelous inviting these bright, young coral scientists in this way, but it marked the first shift back to normalcy.
Interns begin their training in person for the first time since January 2020! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
We were also invited by Ocean Reef Club to come and spend the day with them at their Eco-Fair where we ran a booth and talked to people of all ages about the importance of coral reefs! Another exciting invite we received was to speak virtually at the University of Oregon's Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), and the two interns that represented us did a stellar job!
April, May, June
In April, we introduced a first-of-its-kind virtual after-school program! Run entirely by our interns, each week kids signed up and participated in edutainment activities through their screen with ingredients they found in their own kitchens. It was such a hit, we might try and do it again next year!
Our virtual after school program was a huge hit with students around the USA! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Around this time also saw the unveiling of our new collaboration with the Scouts at SeaBase and the new two-day Dive programs. This project proved one of our favorite and most successful outreach collaborations of the year. The Scouts were able to return over 400 corals to Alligator Reef, reaching our restoration goals for that area!
Florida Seabase and CRF™ teamed up over the summer to teach the Scouts all about coral restoration and get them hands-on experience! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Last but not least, we can’t forget about Coralpalooza and Coralpalooza Digital 2021. Combining the remote aspect from last year with our usual in-person outplant day, the event was a resounding success!
July, August, September
At long last, our Exploration Center reopened! We are so glad to be able to welcome back visitors and give them tours of our building again. Ocean Reef Club invited us back for their Young Presidents event where we ran edutainment activities for more than 70 kids ranging between ages 4 and 12. It was a whirlwind three days, but the kids had so much fun! We also worked with REEF at their summer camp and went into the mangroves with MANG!
Summertime was filled with fun outreach events and collaborations with local non-profits and sponsors! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
October, November, December
This year ended on a high note. We had an amazing time at REEF’s Lionfish Derby, bringing two of our most popular edutainment activities, ocean acidification and paper-mache coral outplanting!
Our educational booth at the REEF Lionfish Derby was a major hit with local marine conservationists! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
We were also ecstatic to be invited to Girl Fest by the Girl Scouts, and it was our biggest event of the year! Just a few short weeks later, we were back with them again introducing a brand new CRF™ badge!! By the end of the year, the first Girl Scouts had earned it!
The Girl Scouts have been enthusiastic coral champions with CRF™ this year! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Thank you all for your unyielding support of our mission as we continue adjusting to new ways of engaging with our community. We can't wait to see you all in 2022! Remember to subscribe to our weekly newsletter "The Coral Chronicles" to stay up to date on all the goings on at CRF™.
"Heads Up: 2021 Memorable Moments" Editorial Intern
A recent graduate of Skidmore College, Tessa (they/them) has a BA in English and Environmental Studies. They grew up in Wilton, in southwestern Connecticut, but spent their summers either hiking and camping in the woods or swimming and sailing on the water. They have always been passionate about climate change and conservation. Diving for the first time in 2014 while taking a marine conservation course in the Caribbean leeward islands, they quickly amassed dives and got their PADI Instructor certification just three years later.
After completing their instructor training, they spent a month on the Yucatan Peninsula conducting research on reefs. They later channeled their distress at the degradation of the reefs to write a short story about coral bleaching, which was published in Volume 5 of the Oakland Arts Review in 2020. Their capstone thesis built on this theme and they wrote a collection of four creative short stories that detail and exemplify climate change-induced environmental damage through a narrative lens. They aim to combine their degrees and experiences to make a career in science communications, making research and conservation accessible to everybody.
Madalen Howard is CRF's Marketing Associate. Madalen comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, and communications.
Madalen spent the last 4 years as a Field Instructor and Social Media Strategist for MarineLab Environmental Education Center. Here she was able to study and teach marine ecology, while snorkeling through mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs every day. While at MarineLab she combined her education and research background, entered the world of communications, and developed MarineLab’s social media department from the ground up.
Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature. With CRF™, she is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration, creating inclusive pathways to scientific discovery.