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Year in Review – 2017

Reflecting on the past year, there has never been a more critical time for effective coral reef management. In June of 2017, the world’s longest and most widespread bleaching event on record ended, with many reefs experiencing significant mortality. To address these – and other – challenges, the Reef Resilience Network continues to empower a global network of marine managers and scientists to improve coral reef management by sharing and implementing cutting-edge resilience science, inspiring greater collaboration, and working with global and regional reef initiatives to roll out guidance and best practices. Based on feedback from our managers, we have led in-person and online trainings, and have added new webinars, case studies, journal summaries, guidebooks, and modules on key topics to our website, reefresilience.org, which had over 150,000 visitors this year alone!

We are inspired by the thousands of reef managers, practitioners, and scientists in our Network and beyond, who spend their days working to reduce the threats facing reefs and supporting the necessary policies and programs to help our reefs to recover and thrive. We thank you and look forward and ahead to 2018 – the International Year of the Reef – and are grateful for the renewed attention to one of our world’s most precious resources, our coral reefs. See how we, as a Network, have improved reef management around the world.

RR Year in Review 2017_final

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Assisted Evolution: A Novel Tool to Overcome the Conservation Crisis?

Assisted Evolution Announcement PhotoThis symposium was live streamed as part of the Coral Restoration Consortium webinar series in conjunction with The Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and “The Future Ocean” cluster in Kiel. Speakers shared information on new approaches for the conservation of coral reefs such as assisted colonization and assisted evolution and synthetic biology. View the presentation recordings below.

Presentations:

Welcome and introduction – Marlene Wall, Geomar, Germany

Session 1: Shifting paradigms in conservation: social, public and scientific landscape of conservation genetics
Objective: The aim of session 1 is to (i) discuss new approaches for the conservation of natural environments, such as assisted colonization, assisted evolution and synthetic biology and (ii) introduce the current legal, public and scientific framework of novel methods in conservation.

Session 2: Assisted evolution in corals: Opportunities, applications, challenges, and limitations
Objective: The aim is to introduce how assisted evolution might change our way of restoring natural marine environments. What new tools are available that can improve the selection of environmental stress resistance and be implemented in conservation? What are the promises and perils of such approaches?

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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

Course banner

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

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2725.
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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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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Scientific Writing – Hawai‘i, 2015

A four-day writing workshop was held for Pacific Island coral reef managers from Hawaiʻi, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa who received mentorship from The Nature Conservancy’s former Chief Scientist Peter Kareiva and team of reviewers to improve writing skills and finalize a journal publication for submission. Read about participants’ research on fish and octopus. Read the report.
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Restoration and Reef Resilience: Your Input is Needed

Coral Restoration photo for survey

Photo © Kemit-Amon Lewis

We are happy to announce that new coral restoration information and resources are coming soon to the Reef Resilience online toolkit and we’d like to hear from you! Please take this short survey and let us know what you need to be more effective in your work on coral restoration.

Because your response is important to us, we are giving away 5 copies of the new National Geographic book ‘Pristine Seas: Journey to the Ocean’s Last Wild Places’ by Enric Sala to participants. You will be prompted to enter into this raffle at the end of the survey.

Thank you for participating in our survey! Take the survey.

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New Network Resources: Spotlight on the Western Indian Ocean

Cleaning a coral nursery. © Reef Rescuers

Content Here

Improving Management of Spawning Aggregation Fisheries in the Seychelles Using Acoustic Telemetry

Marine managers in the Seychelles are collecting and using behavioral information on Shoemaker spinefoots to develop management strategies that protect spawning aggregations of these commercially important fish. Read the case study.

Reef Rescuers: Coral Gardening as an MPA Management Tool

To repair coral bleaching damage in a marine reserve in the Seychelles, a large scale reef restoration project uses “coral gardening”, a technique that involves collecting small pieces of healthy coral, growing them in underwater nurseries, and then transplanting them to degraded sites. Read the case studyWatch the webinar.

Preparing for Coral Bleaching in the Western Indian Ocean

David Obura of CORDIO East Africa presents updated guidance (in four basic steps!) for monitoring bleaching events in the Western Indian Ocean at basic, intermediate, and expert levels. Watch the webinar.

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