Coral Reef Meetings Target Reef Resilience
The United States Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) coordinates U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems, and it holds biannual meetings to discuss key issues, propose new actions, and present plans, progress, and accomplishments. This October, the USCRTF held its 26th meeting in conjunction with the 2nd Reef Resilience Conference, drawing an impressive crowd of global coral reef conservation practitioners to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The two-day Reef Resilience Conference, which served as the official opening workshop of the USCRTF meeting, was themed "Planning for Resilience." CORAL shared our recent experiences conducting reef resilience to climate change "training of trainers" workshops in the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean. We were particularly pleased to spotlight our pioneering work training marine recreation providers to act as early warning sentinels on the reef—for our Caribbean workshop, we adapted the standard reef resilience curriculum to target these key on-site professionals.
The USCRTF meeting gave us the opportunity to work face-to-face with our coral reef conservation points of contact in U.S. States and Territories, as well as our federal partners at the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA Coral Reef Watch.
"Attending these international meetings and having the opportunity to share ideas—what works, what doesn't work—reinforces for me that CORAL truly is on the frontier of coral reef conservation action," says CORAL's Rick MacPherson, who attended both meetings. "It's a great reminder that the challenge of saving reefs is far bigger than any single organization or government agency. To really get ahead of the threats will take a global, collaborative approach. And collaboration and partnership are part of CORAL's DNA."
Photo by Jeff Yonover, Indonesia