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Coral Bleaching Futures

Coral Bleaching Futures – Downscaled Projections of Bleaching Conditions for the World’s Coral Reefs, Implications of Climate Policy and Management Responses

Increasingly frequent severe coral bleaching is among the greatest threats to coral reefs posed by climate change. Global climate models (GCMs) project great spatial variation in the timing of annual severe bleaching (ASB) conditions; a point at which reefs are certain to change and recovery will be limited. Previous model-resolution projections (approximately 1×1°) are too coarse to inform reef management planning (recognized, for example, in SAMOA Pathways, paragraph 44b). To meet the need for higher-resolution projections, this report presents statistically downscaled projections (4-km resolution) of the timing of ASB for all the world’s coral reefs using the newest generation of IPCC climate models (CMIP5). Results are reported by country and territory, grouped in bioregions based on the 10 UNEP Regional Seas programmes with coral reefs (also including countries or territories in or near the Regional Sea area but not participating in the Regional Sea).

Among the goals of the Paris Agreement adopted at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) in 2015 is to hold temperature “well below” 2°C while also pursuing efforts to stay below 1.5°C. This legally binding agreement entered into force 4 November 2016. This report evaluates the implications of the Paris Agreement for coral reef futures. Projections of ASB timing are compared between business as usual scenario (RCP8.5) and RCP4.5, which could represent emissions concentrations mid-century. This report makes the projections data and main findings publicly accessible to inform management and policy planning as well as to support education and outreach. The data are currently being used to inform conservation planning in the U.S., including Florida and Hawaii, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia.

Author: United Nations Environment Program
Year: 2017
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Nairobi, Kenya. ISBN: 978-92-807-3649-6

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A Guide to Assessing Coral Reef Resilience for Decision Support

Maintaining and restoring resilience is now a major focus of most coral reef managers around the world. A focus on resilience gives us options – and hope – in the face of new and often daunting challenges. Underpinning this is the fact that local actions can positively influence the future of coral reefs, despite powerful external forces like climate change.

As examples, coral recovery from disturbances in Bermuda and the Bahamas has been greater in recent decades than in other parts of the Caribbean. Differences in recovery rates in the Caribbean have been partially attributed to establishing and enforcing fishing regulations, especially on key herbivores such as parrotfish (Jackson et al. 2014).

Overall though, the application of resilience theory to management planning and the day-to-day business of coral reef management has been challenging. One of the key stumbling blocks has been the lack of a robust and easily implementable method for assessing coral reef resilience in a way that can inform marine spatial planning and help to prioritize the implementation of management strategies.

Our ability to assess relative resilience of coral reefs has advanced dramatically in recent years, and we are now at a point where a feasible and useful process can be recommended for use in environmental planning and management.

This Guide presents a 10-step process for completing a resilience assessment, putting into managers’ hands the means to assess, map and monitor coral reef resilience, and the means to identify and prioritize actions that support resilience in the face of climate change. The guidance presented here represents the culmination of over a decade of experience and builds on ideas first presented by West and Salm (2003), Obura and Grimsditch (2009), and McClanahan and coauthors (2012). The resilience assessment process described in the Guide has been applied by the author group in Australia, Florida, CNMI, Guam, Palau, Indonesia, the Cayman Islands, and US Virgin Islands and in many other reef locations by other groups.

This guide is first and foremost intended for the individuals in charge of commissioning, planning, leading or coordinating a resilience assessment. The Guide also provides a resource for ‘reef managers’ of all kinds, including decision-makers, environmental planners and managers in coral reef areas, with influence over pressures affecting coral reefs. Outreach coordinators and educators working in coral reef areas may also benefit from the Guide, and they can participate in parts of the resilience assessment process, but the Guide focuses on the needs of decision-makers and the scientists who support them.

Author: Maynard, J.A., P.A. Marshall, B. Parker, E. Mcleod, G. Ahmadia, R. van Hooidonk, S. Planes, G.J. Williams, L. Raymundo, R. Beeden, J. Tamelander
Year: 2017
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ISBN No: 978-92-807-3650-2

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Workshop to Advance the Science and Practice of Coral Restoration

This workshop was held November 15-17, 2016 with the goal of fostering collaboration and technology transfer among coral restoration scientists, practitioners, and managers, and initiating a community of practice that continues to address the evolving role of active coral restoration in the evolutionary history of coral reef ecosystems. The talks cover recent scientific advances in coral biology to help plan and experiment with coral restoration, successes and failures in recent coral restoration projects, and inspiring future research to help advance the practice of coral restoration. The recordings and presentations can be viewed below.

Presentations:

Day 1 – November 15, 2016:

  • Taking coral restoration to the ecosystem scale – Tom Moore, NOAA Coral Reef Restoration Program (Video, Presentation)
  • The role of restoration in coral reef ecosystems – Les Kaufman, Boston University (VideoPresentation)
  • Valuing social benefits of restoration – Mike Beck, The Nature Conservancy (No Video, Presentation)
  • The scientific foundation for successful coral restoration programs – Bob Richmond, University of Hawaii (VideoPresentation)
  • Beyond restoration – intervention ecology – Margaret Miller, NOAA Fisheries Science Center (VideoPresentation)
  • An overview of the use of genetics in coral restoration – Andrew Baker, University of Miami (VideoPresentation)
  • Influence of genotype and the environment – Crawford Drury, University of Miami (VideoPresentation)
  • Thermal trait selections including symbionts – John Parkinson, Oregon State University (VideoPresentation)
  • Phylogenetic tree project overview – Scott Winters, Coral Restoration Foundation (VideoPresentation)
  • Using hybridization to aid restoration – Nikki Fogarty, Nova Southeastern University (No Video, Presentation)
  • Genetic basis of disease resistance – Steve Vollmer, Northeastern University (Video, No Presentation)
  • Disease intervention as a restoration tool – Cheryl Woodley, NOAA/NCCOS (VideoPresentation)
  • Interaction of temperature stress and disease resistance – Erin Muller, Mote Marine Laboratory (No Video, No Presentation)

Day 2 – November 16, 2016:

  • How can we restore reef resilience at scale? – Dirk Petersen, SECORE (No Video, Presentation)
  • Thinking systematically about how we accomplish our day to day restoration work – Andrew Ross, Seascape Caribbean (No Video, Presentation)

Scaling up in-water nurseries

  • Tracking and management of a large nursery – Jessica Levy, Coral Restoration Foundation – Florida (No Video, Presentation)
  • New variations on commonly used nursery structures
  • Prevention of storm damage and experiences
  • Partnerships with resorts and dive operators – Rita Ines Sellares, Dominican Foundation of Marine Studies (VideoPresentation)
  • Managing a volunteer workforce
  • Managing a paid community workforce – Lisa Carne, Fragments of Hope – Belize (VideoPresentation)
  • Reducing diver/coral interaction time – Ken Nedimyer, Coral Restoration Foundation – Florida (VideoPresentation)

Land-based nurseries

  • Trade-offs and BMPs in nursery design – Keri O’Neil, The Florida Aquarium (VideoPresentation)
  • Land-based nurseries as tools for restoration – Scott Graves, The Florida Aquarium (VideoPresentation)
  • Quarantine and health management – Cindy Lewis, Keys Marine Lab/Florida International Univ. (VideoPresentation)
  • Micro-fragging and re-sheeting – Dave Vaughan, Mote Marine Laboratory (No Video, Presentation)

Larval propagation

  • Settlement cues for acroporid larvae – Valerie Paul, Smithsonian Institution (VideoPresentation)
  • Restoring with cryopreserved gametes – Mary Hagedorn, Smithsonian Institution (No Video, No Presentation)
  • Sexual propagation of non-acroporids – Kristen Marhaver, CARMABI – Curaçao (No Video, No Presentation)
  • Scaling-up and reducing the costs – Valerie Chamberland, SECORE – Curaçao (VideoPresentation)
  • Large scale restoration using sexual recruits – Mark van Koningsveld, Van Oord (VideoPresentation)

Scaling-Up Outplanting: Ideas on current best approaches

Scaling-Up Outplanting: Ideas to reduce interaction time and increase efficiency

  • Ken Nedimyer, Coral Restoration Foundation – Florida (VideoPresentation)
  • Victor Manuel Galvan, Punta Cana – Dominican Republic (VideoPresentation)
  • Andrew Ross, Seascape Caribbean – Jamaica (No Video, No Presentation)
  • Tom Moore, NOAA Restoration Center – Florida (VideoPresentation)
  • Anastazia Banaszak, Unversidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (VideoPresentation)
  • Sean Griffin, NOAA Restoration Center – Puerto Rico (VideoPresentation)
  • Sean Griffin, NOAA Restoration Center – Puerto Rico (VideoPresentation)

Day 3 – November 17, 2016:

Optimizing restoration site selection

  • Current approaches to site selection – Christopher Slade, The Nature Conservancy (VideoPresentation)
  • Species distributions and restoration – Shay Viehman, NOAA NCCOS (VideoPresentation)
  • Prioritization of restoration sites through modeling and Zonation – Katie Wirt Ames, FL Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (VideoPresentation)
  • Larval connectivity modeling and restoration – Joana Figueiredo, Nova Southeastern University (No Video, No Presentation)
  • Optimizing for calcification – Ilsa Kuffner, US Geological Survey – Florida (VideoPresentation)
  • Using population models – Alex Molina, SAM – University of Puerto Rico (VideoPresentation)
  • Using population models – Tali Vardi, NOAA Fisheries (VideoPresentation)

Monitoring for ecosystem recovery

  • Review of new, large-area monitoring methods – Stuart Sandin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Video, No Presentation)
  • Using photo-mosaics to monitor restoration success – Brooke Gintert, University of Miami (VideoPresentation)
  • Snorkeler/GPS monitoring of reef-scale trends – Dana Williams, NOAA – SE Fisheries Science Center (VideoPresentation)
  • Restoration as fish habitat – Michael Nemeth, NOAA Restoration Center (VideoPresentation)
  • Developing programmatic benchmarks – Stephanie Shopmeyer, University of Miami (VideoPresentation)

Next steps

  • Integrating restoration practices in the U.S. – Alison Moulding, NOAA Protected Resources (VideoPresentation)
  • Overview of coral restoration consortium – Jennifer Moore, NOAA Protected Resources (VideoPresentation)
  • Reef managers survey results and reef resilience toolkit – Liz Shaver, Duke University (VideoPresentation)
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Adaptation Design Tool Online Course Announcement

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Ready to get practical with adapting your management activities in light of climate change, but wondering how to organize what can be a complicated ‘adaptation design’ process? A new course, Corals & Climate Adaptation Planning: Adaptation Design Tool, can help you as a coral reef manager incorporate climate-smart design into your management activities.

This month-long mentored training (8-10 hour time commitment) features interactive lessons, hands-on exercises, webinars, and interaction with experts and other managers. Using real-world examples, you will be guided through the process of incorporating climate change adaptation into a management plan, first using existing planned actions as a starting point, and then through the development of additional climate-smart strategies as needed.

The lessons are based on the user guide, Adaptation Design Tool: Corals & Climate Adaptation Planning, which was developed as a collaborative project of the Climate Change Working Group of the interagency U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and The Nature Conservancy.

This course was designed for coral reef managers but is also fully transferable for use with other systems and applications, such as wetland and watershed management planning. Everyone is welcome!

Important Dates:

  • Course Dates: October 16 – November 17, 2017
  • September 25 – October 16: Course Orientation and Introductory Webinar registration
  • October 16: Course Orientation and Introductory Webinar – Introduction to the Adaptation Design Tool (1 hour)
  • October 17 – November 16: Complete four self-paced lessons and learning exercises (approximately 6 hours)
  • November 6: Webinar 2 – Developing Climate-Smart Design Considerations for Existing Conservation and Management Actions (1.5 hours)
  • November 17: Webinar 3 – Expanding the List of Adaptation Options & Course Conclusion (1 hour)

 

To Register:
The course will open with an orientation webinar held on October 16 at 10:00 AM HST / 4:00 PM ESTRegister here for the Orientation Webinar which will cover how to enroll in the course. If you are not able to take this mentored course, there is a self-study version available here (Note: you will need to create a user account to access the self-study course). If you have questions, please contact us at resilience@tnc.org.

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Restoration Workshop Live Stream

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This live stream of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Restoration Workshop at the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meeting was broadcast as part of the of Coral Restoration Consortium webinar series and features two panels highlighting research and restoration of sponge and coral communities and herbivore populations to promote the health and vitality of reef ecosystems. View the presentations below.

Presentations:

Session 1: Sponge Restoration

Session 2: Herbivore and Coral Restoration

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Leading coral science and conservation organizations joining forces to accelerate vital reef restoration work

Photo © Coral Restoration Foundation

Photo © Coral Restoration Foundation

We are pleased to announce the formation of a new Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC). The CRC is a community of practice that comprises scientists, managers, coral restoration practitioners, and educators dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to adapt and survive the 21st century and beyond. The CRC’s mission is to foster collaboration and technology transfer among participants, and to facilitate scientific and practical ingenuity to demonstrate that restoration can achieve meaningful results at scales relevant to reefs in their roles of protecting coastlines, supporting fisheries, and serving as economic engines for coastal communities.

The Reef Resilience Network will be working in partnership with experts from the Coral Restoration Consortium to develop expanded resources for managers on restoration. New online content will be available in October 2017 and will cover the following topics prioritized by a survey of coral reef managers globally:

  • Key considerations to be made before starting a restoration program
  • Methods for propagating branching corals and massive corals
  • Using artificial structures in restoration
  • Promoting ecological processes that enhance coral populations
  • Guidance for enhancing and sustaining your restoration program

To get involved with the CRC:

  • Learn more about the Coral Restoration Consortium
  • CLICK HERE to receive e-mail updates on the CRC’s development, newsletters with scholarly information on restoration, quarterly webinar announcements, and information on how to join Working Groups
  • Watch restoration webinars

 

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New Techniques for Coral Restoration in the Caribbean

Watch on YouTube

May 18, 2017

Hear experts from the Global Coral Restoration Project provide an overview of coral restoration efforts around the world and discuss current obstacles and potential solutions. This seminar kicks off an in-person workshop designed to foster exchange between practitioners working in the fields of coral science, restoration, aquaculture and marine resource management. Explore the seminar presentations and learn about coral restoration from the experts!

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New Techniques for Coral Restoration Seminar

Ellen%20Muller%20spawning%20Dlab%20smallSECORE International hosted a workshop at the Carmabi Marine Research Station Curaçao from May 18th – 27th. The opening day of the workshop started with a seminar to provide a global picture of coral restoration, discussing current obstacles and potential solutions. View the recordings of the presentations below.

Spawning Diploria labyrinthiformis with butterfly fish feeding on spawn. Photo © Ellen Muller

Presentations:

This online seminar and workshop is part of the Global Coral Restoration Project initiated by SECORE International, California Academy of Sciences and The Nature Conservancy, and further supported by CARMABI Foundation, Curaçao Sea Aquarium, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium as well as State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources.

The workshop aims to foster exchange between participants and organizers, working in the fields of coral science, restoration, aquaculture and marine resource management. The workshop is comprised of hands-on work, such as rearing coral larvae from daylight spawner Diploria labyrinthiformis, practicing the art of micro-fragmentation and outplanting techniques, as well as theoretical sessions on how to select outplanting sites and monitor restoration efforts.

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Integrating Ecosystem Services into Coral Reef Policy and Management – Hawai’i, 2017

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The Reef Resilience Network partnered with Blue Solutions to host a five-day training on Integrating Ecosystem Services into Coral Reef Policy and Management on March 6-10, 2017. Experts and participants from 12 different agencies gathered in Kona, Hawaii to gain experience in evaluating ecosystem services and how to effectively communicate the benefits they provide to people to guide decision making and inform management within their jurisdiction. The workshop included a field trip to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and Kiholo Bay, where participants applied their new skills to identify the ecosystem services each place provides. Over the week, participants became familiar with different tools and resources for assessing and valuing ecosystem services and learned how to navigate and create maps with Mapping Ocean Wealth. Next steps for the participants include sharing key concepts and messages about ecosystem services within their jurisdiction and incorporating learned skills into their work, projects and plans. To see photo highlights from this training view here.
Check out this video from NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management, to better understand ecosystem services and learn about various tools to use when evaluating the benefits and values. Watch here.
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