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"Heads Up"in June 2022 with the Coral Chronicles


Over the past several months, Coral Restoration Foundation™ and Zoo Miami have been in collaboration about bringing coral reef conservation education to the guests of the Zoo. This joint effort has further involved CRF™ with the South Florida community and has drastically increased the reach of our educational programming. On the last Sunday of every month, CRF™ hosts a booth in the Conservation Action Center at Zoo Miami putting our mission and work on display. Anyone can stop to learn about us, ask questions, sign up to get involved, and participate in a hands-on activity!

Captain Coral greets guests ready to begin their coral scavenger hunt and learn about reef restoration. ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

These weekly educational efforts were so well received we decided to take it up a notch. Over Memorial Day weekend CRF™ hosted our first major event: Captain Coral's Scavenger Extravaganza! Captain Coral, leader of our Coral Crew, greeted patrons as they were on their way into the park, and 6 coral-themed booths were spread throughout the Zoo - each with its own hands-on educational conservation activity!

Guests were shown how to download the EventZee app on their smartphones by scanning a QR code and entering a special World Oceans Day code to get them signed up and ready to complete the scavenger hunt. If they were successful, they could return to Captain Coral at the end of their day to claim their prize – a one-of-a-kind CRF™ pirate-themed eye patch!

Captain Coral and his Coral Crew interacted with folks throughout the day, snapping photos and creating an educational experience for any audience – we met families pushing 4-5 kids through the park in their high-tech strollers and even adult couples who expressed how excited they were for the collaboration and how much they learned at each of our booths along the way. Our goal here at CRF™ is to inspire and empower, and Captain Coral's Scavenger Extravaganza was successful in creating a fun, educational environment that caters to all ages.

An unexpected learning experience arose for many of our team during the scavenger hunt. Many local South Floridians speak Spanish as their primary language. Though we have translated our written educational resources into spanish we realized we wanted to put that same effort into our in-person education. Coral Restoration Foundation™ is now working on translating educational materials and frequently asked questions into different languages so that our team has resources to communicate with everyone at outreach events. We hope this helps us connect with even more ocean stewards!

Captain Coral's Coral Crew aka CRF™ interns and staff host educational conservation booths for guests to learn about coral reefs! ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

At the end of the day our team took a look at the data from the EventZee App where guests completed each scavenger challenge. The performance statistics showed almost a 100% download rate for Captain Coral Interactions, with over 20% of those that downloaded completing the entire scavenger hunt – visiting and completing all 6 hands-on activities. Those who returned to Captain Coral for their prize specifically called out how much they enjoyed the trivia, fun fact Jenga, and mock coral outplanting booths.

Connecting with and empowering communities around the world is central to our core mission at CRF™. Events like Captain Coral's Scavenger Extravaganza allow us to provide resources and knowledge to youth and adults alike who can amplify our work through their own advocacy and involvement. If you're feeling inspired and looking for a way to make a difference yourself you can find our educational resources or book a field trip here: Thanks for joining our Coral Crew!



2022 has seen the return of in-person outreach while retaining the reach of virtual presentations which means our team has been twice as busy! Since May 1st CRF™ has completed just under 400 hours of community outreach through a variety of avenues including tours of our public Exploration Center, virtual presentations, in-person educational booths, and farmers markets where we sell sustainably sourced apparel and give out free educational resources!

This past weekend we made our way down to Big Pine Key to set up an educational booth and help CoastLove out with their mangrove cleanup. Mangroves and Coral Reefs support one another in coastal ecosystems so it's always nice for our team to support the mangrove ecosystem when we aren't returning corals to the wild.

CRF™ intern Thomas teaches students about how CRF™ raises corals on Coral Trees™. ©Joe Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™


Written by:

Head's Up Editorial Intern

Madeline was born in Tucson, Arizona but found her passion for the ocean in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia when she discovered an abandoned crab pot inhabited with seahorses. She continued to follow her passion and received her open water certification at age 15. She did not stop there! She is now a recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelors in Marine Science and has her Rescue Diver Certification. Madeline is very excited to be a part of the CRF team to help with the coral restoration process and make a difference for the coral reefs everyone knows and loves.

Head's Up Editorial Intern

Thomas Ressa has just begun his first internship round with CRF™ and brings a passion for writing, education, and coral reefs.

He has worked with NOAA's Mission:Iconic Reefs and looks forward to continuing that partnership at Coral Restoration Foundation™

Coral Chronicles Editor

Madalen Howard is CRF's Communications and Outreach Coordinator. 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.

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