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Date(s) - 04/02/2017
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Murray E. Nelson Government & Cultural Center


Sponsored by the Coral Restoration Foundation, the 30-minute Ocean Conservation presentations are to highlight conservation initiatives from partner organizations throughout Florida. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with Coral Restoration Foundation team members and discover ways to get involved. Topics include “Restoring Reefs and Empowering Change”; “Coral: From Microscope to Telescope, the Most Cosmic Form of Life on Earth”; “Staghorn and Elkhorn Coral Restoration in the Upper Keys: Is it Doing Any Good?“; “Marine Debris: Impacts and Solutions”; and more.

Presentations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Murray E. Nelson Government & Cultural Center, 102050 Overseas Hwy (MM 102).

Website – Ocean Conservation Seminars

Speakers Include:

Ocean Conservation

Ashley Hill, Education Program Manager of Coral Restoration Foundation

“Restoring Reefs and Empowering Change”

Coral reefs are some of the most vital ecosystems to this planet! Coral Restoration Foundation is working to restore reefs and educate others about the importance of ocean conservation. In her presentation, Ashley Hill provides an overview of CRF programs, where they’ve been, where they are, and where we are headed.


Tommy Cutt, Chief Conservation Officer of Loggerhead Marinelife Center

 “Living to Change: Improving the Health of the Global Ocean Through Local Action”

The actions of mankind have left a devastating impact on our ocean. Discover the work being done globally by Loggerhead Marinelife Center to protect the ocean and marine life and how each person can make a difference.

Colin Foord, Co-Founder of Coral Morphologic

“Coral: From Microscope to Telescope, the Most Cosmic Form of Life on Earth”

Corals are a life-form that intelligently amalgamates animal, plant, and mineral into a collective unit, and whose life-cycle is controlled by the cosmic synchronicity of the Sun and Moon. Besides humans, corals are the only other animals that have created colonies on a scale visible from space on Earth. These reefs are successful ecosystems where symbiosis, opportunism, and complex interdependence create a harmonic foundation for the evolution and diversity of life. Corals have survived multiple global extinctions over millions of years, and yet man has only been building cities for several thousand, the lifespan of a typical reef. It is the corals’ innate ability to morph, adapt, clone, evolve, symbios, and reproduce that provide humanity with a blueprint for sustainable living on planet Earth.

Ocean Conservation

Margaret W. Miller, NOAA-NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center

“Elkhorn and Staghorn Coral Restoration in the Upper Keys: Is it Doing Any Good?”

The fate of elkhorn and staghorn corals has been a sad one over the past four decades.  The development and investment in new models of proactive enhancement of coral populations in the past 10 years has produced hundreds of thousands of new corals in Florida alone.  Skeptics may inquire, however, as to the long term, reef scale benefits if these new corals are subject to the same ongoing environmental stressors that have degraded the natural population.  In fact, research is demonstrating that, though background elkhorn and staghorn coral populations continue to decline, coral outplanting efforts are successfully offsetting these losses.  More importantly, the research and monitoring platform provided by coral nursery and outplanting efforts is revealing that some corals show inherent resistance to both coral bleaching and disease, the primary drivers of coral loss.  These inherent resistance traits in cultured coral stocks can provide tools to foster improved resilience in restored coral populations of the near future.

Tracy Nolan, Education Director of Debris Free Oceans

“Marine Debris: Impacts and Solutions”

Plastic is one of the most pervasive forms of pollution in modern society.  This presentation will give a brief overview of how that came to be, how plastic is affecting marine ecosystems and wildlife, and what you can do in your every-day life to help spread awareness regarding this issue.

Michael Terrell, Florida Aquarium

” ’90 Miles By Water’ Collaboration Between the Florida Aquarium and the Aquario Nacional de Cuba for Coral Reef Restoration”

Coral reefs worldwide are in severe decline due to local, regional, and global stressors.  While many of Cuba’s reefs are still pristine, others are beginning to show decline. This month biologists from the Florida Aquarium traveled to Cuba to assist the Aquario Nacional de Cuba with the installation of their first large scale in situ coral nursery.

Using techniques developed by the Coral Restoration Foundation, the collaborative team installed a 20 “tree” nursery, complete with 20 presumed genotypes of staghorn coral, off the coast of Maria la Gorda in the Guanahacabibes National Park.

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