Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations who have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.
Effective coral reef ecosystem management is a collaborative effort. Coral reef ecosystems around the world are connected, and managers must work together and communicate with each other to ensure that all are successful in their goals.
The Reef Resilience Network, led by The Nature Conservancy, connects marine resource managers with information, experts, resources, and skill-building opportunities. The goal of the network is to improve the conservation of coral reefs and reef fisheries worldwide. To date, the Reef Resilience Network has trained managers in nearly 80 countries, representing 75 percent of the 103 countries and territories with coral reef ecosystems. Activities that the network engages in include:
Synthesizing and sharing the latest science and management strategies,
Connecting managers and experts to share resources and lessons learned, and
Providing training and seed funding to launch education, monitoring, and threat-reduction projects.
“For more than 15 years, the Reef Resilience Network has served as a global leader in building the capacity of marine managers to effectively manage, protect, and restore coral reefs,” says Petra MacGowan, the manager of Coral Reef Partnerships for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Oceans Program. “To date, more than 25,000 managers and practitioners have built skills and knowledge with training from the Network. This translates into real action for reefs through the development and implementation of coral bleaching and disease response plans, monitoring protocols to inform resilience-based management, targeted communication, and more.”
During a 10-year partnership, with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, the Reef Resilience Network has worked in the seven U.S. coral reef jurisdictions to support management and protection. The partnership has engaged over 1,800 people through training workshops and learning exchanges and has directly impacted more than 1,000 square miles of U.S. coral reefs.
“None of this would be possible without our partnership with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, who have from the inception of the Network, provided funding and collaboration to support delivery of skill-building and exchange opportunities,” notes MacGowan.
We’re excited to continue supporting the Reef Resilience Network’s outstanding work in the U.S. and worldwide.
Follow the celebration on our Facebook, and Twitter, pages and the National Ocean Service Instagram page all year using the hashtag #NOAACoral20th.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.