The Sylvia Earle Alliance
Source: The Huffington Post 
July 25, 2011
"For those Huffington Post Green readers who have been following the Mission Blue expedition to the Swan Islands and surrounding Mesoamerican reef, you know that the team has experienced a number of trials and triumphs in its documentation of the marine health of this critical "hope spot."
The expedition, led by Dr. Sylvia Earle, world-renowned oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence and 2009 TED Prize Winner, is part of a larger effort by the Sylvia Earle Alliance to garner public support for the establishment of a global network of marine protected areas (MPAs) - which Earle calls "hope spots." These are large areas of critical importance to the health of the ocean, the planet's "blue heart," that if protected, can save the ocean from destruction.
The Honduran government works closely with local NGO's, to coordinate and facilitate monitoring and management of the protected areas. The Healthy Reef Initiative, led by expedition team member Dr. Melanie McField coordinates with local NGO's, Roatan Marine Park and Bay Island Conservation Association, to work with island communities to define the parameters of restricted and multi-use zones. Many areas have been granted multi-use status rather than restricted status. In reality, areas zoned for multi-use see little to no protection. Even in restricted areas, it may only restrict take of a single species instead of broader restrictions.
It is with this deficiency in mind that expedition team members Ian Drysdale, the Honduran and Guatemalan coordinator for the Healthy Reefs Initiative, and Jennie Myton, the Honduras Field Manager for the Coral Reef Alliance invited the expedition to explore Cordelia Banks. Drysdale and Myton, both co-founders of the Roatan Marine Park, hope to promote the need to increase the protection of Cordelia Banks."
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