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"Heads Up" in June 2020 with the Coral Chronicles


On June 6, 2020 Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 brought together resident experts from organizations all around the globe to speak about the importance of coral restoration and why individual actions matter! A couple of the names may have stood out to you as leading voices in oceanic conservation and education: Sylvia Earle and Philippe Cousteau.

Sylvia Earle is a marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer, and has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998! Sylvia Earle is a role model in her own right as the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the first to be named Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine in 1988. Earle has been one of the leading voices in ocean conservation throughout her life, like providing educational lectures relating to Mission Blue - an organization dedicated to protecting endangered “Hope Spots” that are critical to the health of the ocean. She offered an inspiring message to those at Coralpalooza™, saluting the efforts of all those who advocate for ocean conservation as we approached World Oceans Day.

Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the renowned Jacques Cousteau, has been at the forefront of ocean conservation education for much of his career. Cousteau is a multi Emmy-nominated TV host that has produced several films and documentaries that focus on educating the audience about the incredible world that we live in, and the diverse species found both in the ocean and on land. In 2004, Cousteau founded EarthEcho International, an organization dedicated to inspiring youth to take action and make their own positive impact on creating a sustainable planet. Cousteau joined us during Coralpalooza™ in an interview with our very own Communications Director, Alice Grainger, to talk about his family's legacy and how youth are making a huge difference in the fight to save our planet.

It’s individuals like Sylvia Earle and Philippe Cousteau that continue to lead by example in educating the world on how we can make a positive impact on ocean conservation, and help to preserve the countless treasures that our blue world has to share with us.



With a fully interactive digital platform for Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020, attendees have the chance to interact with CRF™ staff and learn more about a plethora of resources out there.

CRF's Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 Kid's Zone.

Along with a surplus of interactive booths and workshops, kids were also able to participate, as they are the foundation of our future. We hope to inspire kids to be advocates for our blue world and venture into the world of marine science. This is why we're featuring an interactive educational section of Coralpalooza™ just for kids, known as the Kid’s Zone.

CRF™ Intern Andrew Ibarra going through the digital workshop, Let's Talk About Coral Bleaching.

The Kid's Zone contains educational workshop videos in which kids can make coral slime, learn about calcification, ocean acidification, as well as coral bleaching. These educational workshops allow kids to participate from wherever they live throughout the globe. Each CRF™ intern on screen introduces a backstory to the topic they discuss, lists the materials needed, and makes sure that each step is explained in detail!

CRF™ Intern Krista Laforest preparing for the digital workshop, Let's Talk About Magnetic Mutualism.

Along with videos to follow along with, there are activity packs and coloring books to print out and have fun with! Additionally, there are educational videos to follow along with and learn more about coral anatomy, including what RRAP (Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program) is doing to help corals in Australia and what EarthEcho is doing to assist in spreading awareness to local schools.

CRF's Captain Coral Show at Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 Kid's Zone.

Of course, Captain Coral also makes a special appearance! He is our very own swashbuckling pirate, who captivates audiences by utilizing science and conservation in his edutainment workshops. These are interactive presentations where students are able to apply their knowledge to be a part of the solution! This year, Captain Coral did not present to a live audience, but created a fun and entertaining video about coral spawning.

Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 was unlike previous years, and the first of its kind. For the Kid’s Zone, our newly designed, interactive platform provided an opportunity for kids and individuals around the globe to take part in creative activities and see Captain Coral regardless of location.



As summer approaches, internship opportunities are a main priority to a plethora of students. Most of our interns are recent college graduates who applied to CRF™ with the hopes of expanding their knowledge of the marine world and coral restoration, as well as amplify additional skills within a non-profit organization. COVID-19 affected internship expectations for our incoming summer interns which is to be expected. As COVID-19 has continued to be a major topic of concern, incoming interns contemplated what would be affected in terms of their internship and perhaps even the possibility of it being cancelled.

But we continued our internship program, and brought on seven new interns. But it looked a little bit different than past internship sessions. As with all new incoming interns, whether it be for CRF™, or any other organization, there is training that needs to occur, to prepare incoming individuals for what they will be responsible for, what the organization stands for, what their duties are, and what they will achieve as an intern.

Two CRF™ Interns, Sabine Bailey and Daphne De Celles, lead a snorkel trip in Fall 2019.

© Coral Restoration Foundation™

As the Florida Keys began limiting visitors, we knew we had to adapt to keep our team and community safe. So intern training was conducted via Zoom. This video conferencing platform allowed the initial two weeks of training, which covered a plethora of topics including learning more about intern roles and our organization's departments, and introducing our new interns to CRF's mission and goals. Even though training was not conducted in-person, our new interns were able meet staff, programs interns, and lead interns virtually.

Training via Zoom provided a cushion for incoming interns. When it was safe for our new interns to join us, they could continue online training as they quarantined in their new homes. Now that training, along with initial exposure to the foundation, is completed, all of our new interns have adapted to the day-to-day operations of CRF™, and are growing and learning each day!



Did you miss Coralpalooza™ on June 6? Fret not! All of the exciting interviews, videos, and activities will be available through August 25, 2020! Register to access exclusive content from CRF™ and our event partners.

If you participated live and just couldn't get enough, click here to revisit Coralpalooza™ any time until August 25, 2020.


"Heads Up" Editorial Interns

Alec is from Long Island, New York, and is a recent graduate of Roger Williams University. There, he received his B.S. in Marine Biology and specialization in Spanish. From his earliest memory, he was completely fascinated with sharks, and developed a growing interest in science throughout his years while kayaking and volunteering on the South Bay of Long Island. He took to the water naturally with snorkeling, free diving and 11 years of swim team. Throughout his young journey, he has had the fortunate opportunity to be able to immerse himself within the tropical waters of Cayman Island, Florida and Bermuda. In 2017, Alec became an Open Water certified scuba diver, and from there, his interest in marine biology and scuba diving grew exponentially. He became NAUI Advanced Open Water certified in 2019, and upon entering his senior year of college, he studied abroad in Bermuda for four months at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). Having completed his studies abroad in Bermuda, he wishes to continue his passion for learning new skills within the marine biology field, and looks forward to expanding his scientific knowledge and experience throughout his internship with Coral Restoration Foundation™!

Chris is from Wilmington, North Carolina and is currently pursuing a B.A. in International Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He began SCUBA diving while stationed in Georgia for the United States Marine Corps, and was immediately hooked on seeking new adventures under the surface and exploring the unique watery landscapes and ecosystems that the ocean has to offer. Chris has always been passionate about giving back to nature and the community, so when he heard about Coral

Restoration Foundation's internship, he knew that this was his opportunity to dive with a purpose and give back to the incredible coral reefs that he has come to love and admire. Chris hopes to gain new perspectives and hands-on experience in underwater conservation that he can carry with him beyond CRF™ and continue to make a positive impact on the oceans and coral reefs around the world.

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