The Reef Resilience Network connects marine resource managers with information, experts, resources, and skill-building opportunities to accelerate and leverage solutions for improved conservation and restoration of coral reefs and reef fisheries around the world. The Network is a partnership led by The Nature Conservancy that is comprised of more than 1,500 members, and supported by dozens of partners and TNC staff, as well as over 100 global experts in coral reefs, fisheries, climate change, communication, and more who serve as trainers, advisors, and content reviewers.

How We Work

The Network strengthens members’ ability to effectively manage coral reefs threatened by warming seas, bleaching, coastal development, pollution, overfishing, and changes in ocean chemistry. To achieve this, we:
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  • Synthesize and share the latest science and management strategies to keep busy managers inspired and in-the-know. Our website is updated by global experts and features the latest information on key topics, easily searchable summaries of journal articles featuring resilience science, and case studies highlighting successful management strategies and new application of science.
  • Connect managers and experts to share resources and lessons learned that inform and improve management decisions and inspire greater collaborations. Connections are made both in person and online through Network-hosted learning exchanges, trainings, and interactive webinars on “hot topics” in marine resource management. We also host the Network Forum, an online member-only discussion forum where managers and practitioners can share ideas and resources, and ask questions.
  • Provide training and seed funding to launch education, monitoring, and threat-reduction projects. Training and support to help managers incorporate resilience concepts into their management strategies and regulatory policies, and encourage increased knowledge-sharing within and across regions.

Our Impact

For 15 years, the Network has played a critical role in transforming scientific and theoretical information about reefs into operational knowledge, tools, and guidance for resource managers: the government, NGO, and community leaders tasked with managing reefs and the services they provide.


      4,120 Managers and practitioners who have received training online and/or in-person

          50  Managers’ projects launched with funding support*

180,000+ People access our online toolkit annually**


* $95,355 in seed funding led to capacity-building training for more than 1,598 professionals in 32 countries and territories

**Based on visitation rates from 2017-2018

Managers on the Ground

While there are many stories to tell, here is what support from the Network looks like and how it translates into real action for improved coral health. Meet the managers:

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Read more manager spotlight stories to learn about other seed funding projects.

The Latest News

Sign up for our newsletter to receive information on the latest science and strategies, new case studies and journal summaries, upcoming webinars, and highlights of coral news around the world. To explore previously featured Network news, visit our News page.

Our Staff

Petra MacGowan (Reef Resilience Program Manager, Global Oceans) is responsible for leading the global capacity building efforts of the Network and managing the implementation of the NOAA-Coral Reef Conservation Program/TNC partnership to support the efforts of coral reef managers and conservation partners in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawai‘i, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam to protect and sustainably manage their coral reefs. Previously, Petra worked for the State of Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) where she managed the State’s coral reef conservation strategies including the planning and implementation of marine managed areas in the Main Hawaiian Islands and the development of community-based management initiatives to enhance enforcement efforts statewide. She holds a Master’s of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington where she conducted her thesis work in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.

kmaizeKristen Maize (Strategic Communication Manager, Hawai‘i Program) guides Network communication, helps organize and lead trainings, and works with managers to build skills in strategic communication. For TNC Hawai‘i Program, she develops and implements communication strategies to support marine conservation practice and policy. Kristen’s interdisciplinary environmental background is a blend of communication, policy, management, and research. Career highlights include: supporting coral reef social marketing campaigns in Hawai‘i and the Northern Mariana Islands; managing environmental programs for Friends of Virgin Islands National Park; and conducting field and lab research on projects related to coral reef health, endangered species of fish, and incorporating human perception into fisheries management. Kristen has a coastal environmental management Masters degree from Duke University. She is also a professional oil painter.

Dr. Elizabeth Mcleod (Reef Resilience Science Lead and Climate Adaptation Scientist, Asia Pacific) was instrumental in developing TNC’s Reef Resilience toolkit and trainings which have trained nearly 1,500 reef managers in more than 75 countries on the best practices for addressing threats to coral reefs. She is leading an effort to ensure gender equity is integrated into climate adaptation projects. Lizzie’s research focuses on building the resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems to climate change. She has over a decade of experience developing new strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change on tropical marine ecosystems and developing tools and guidance to help managers and communities to respond. She has worked on conservation projects across Micronesia, Indonesia, and Melanesia, modeling the impacts of climate change, conducting reef assessments, developing research priorities and management recommendations for climate change, blue carbon, ocean acidification, and developing and applying frameworks to assess community vulnerability to climate change and adaptation options. Lizzie received her PhD in climate vulnerability and adaptation in tropical systems from the University of Hawaii. She has published over 30 conservation science papers on topics such as climate vulnerability and adaptation, marine protected areas, conservation planning, coral reef resilience, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, blue carbon, customary tenure, and partnerships between religious groups and conservation. She serves as Editor for two conservation journals: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and Coastal Management.

Coral Restoration LeadDr. Elizabeth Shaver (Reef Resilience Coral Restoration Lead) works on coral restoration-related content on the website and network forum. As a former employee of the TNC Reef Resilience Program, Liz assisted in the development of previous versions of the Reef Resilience Toolkit and was the lead author on the new Coral Restoration Module. Liz works closely with partners including the Coral Restoration Consortium to synthesize and share new science and best practices with managers and practitioners through the module and the development of a new restoration online course (coming soon!). Liz holds a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University, where she conducted field and lab experiments, large-scale reef surveys, and manager questionnaires to identify how ecological interactions can be used strategically in the designs of coral reef management strategies. Her research has focused on topics such as coral predation, climate change and bleaching, multiple stressors, positive species interactions, and the restoration of coral reefs and salt marshes.

Cherie Wagner SmallCherie Wagner (Reef Resilience Program Coordinator, Global Oceans) coordinates the Network, managing program logistics and helping to develop the online toolkit, webinars, newsletters, and trainings. She also works to coordinate the NOAA-Coral Reef Conservation Program/TNC partnership to support the efforts of coral reef managers and conservation partners in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawai‘i, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. Before joining the Global Ocean Team, she worked to create a plan for evaluating the environmental sustainability of the organization’s small-scale aquaculture projects at the WorldFish Center in Malaysia. She also worked on assessing the risk of fisheries on coastal species in Vancouver, Canada for the Natural Capital Project. She has a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington where she focused on marine resource use and community-based marine protected area management in the Philippines. 

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