Friends of the Ocean,
Thank you so much for your interest in the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) and our coral conservation efforts around the world!
Since this is our first project report, in addition to sharing updates on the specific projects GlobalGiving.org donors are supporting, we’d like to offer you a bit of background on our organization. Originally founded in 1994 to galvanize the dive community for conservation, CORAL has grown from a small, grassroots alliance into the only international nonprofit organization that works exclusively to unite communities to protect our planet's coral reefs. We provide tools, education, and inspiration to residents of coral reef destinations to support local projects that benefit both reefs and people. And while our focus is very narrow, we utilize a variety of tools (some of which are GlobalGiving.org funding opportunities) to accomplish our mission.
CORAL has assisted the Misool Eco Resort (MER), our principle partner in the region, with the development of community patrol guidelines for the Misool locally-managed marine area (LMMA). With our partners, CORAL has trained and initiated community-based patrols. As the local populations are so far removed from the protected area, these patrols are essential to ensure that the no-take LMMA rules are being respected. Rangers patrol remote areas of the LMMA for poaching and hold the authority to impose legal sanctions when necessary. Since April 2010, CORAL has sponsored 27 patrols, which resulted in recording seven violations, five of which were only first-time violations. During the last several months, CORAL and MER staff have been working on land-based evaluation of patrols due to the weather conditions.
Our mangrove replanting project is moving full steam ahead! Two sites in San Pedro have been selected for this pilot program. The encasements for the mangrove seedlings were recently ordered and will be to Belize in the next couple of weeks. The seedlings will be planted in these encasements to give them stability and protection as they grow. A workshop has also been scheduled for December to teach volunteers how to install the encasements, plant the seedlings, and monitor the project’s success.
CORAL volunteers—CORAL Reef Leadership Network (CRLN) graduates—are reaching important community members with training in Sustainable Marine Recreation (SMR). Over the last six months, CORAL has run eight SMR courses, training over 100 tourism professionals and stakeholders in improving environmental behaviors. Since 2008, when the program began, more than 670 participants have participated in 40 courses. These tourism professionals will continue to spread important conservation messages to the thousands of tourists they interact with each month.
We look forward to sharing more updates with you soon!