February 22, 2008

International Year of the Reef February Update

Submitted by Mary Luna, U.S. NGO Facilitator for IYOR 2008

IYOR events are going on all over the world! The United States Virgin Islands Resource Conservation and Development Council, for example, just held a Free Movie Night open to the Public in the University of the Virgin Islands grounds in St. Croix on January 25. They also teamed with CRABBS, a local dive club, to sponsor four local high school student open water dive certifications through the SCUBA Essay Contest.

California is certainly not falling behind. On Saturday April 19 the Ocean Institute is opening its public programs celebrating the International Year of the Reef. These programs will focus not only on coral reefs, but also on our local rocky reefs. The Institute will host several beach clean-ups that day and participating volunteers will have free admission to the facilities. On that day, Surfrider Foundation, Wyland Foundation, Laguna Oceans Foundation, SW Fisheries/NOAA, Project AWARE, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and the Reef Check Foundation will have booths with information for the public. In addition, Reef Check’s Southern California Manager, Colleen Wisniewski, will give a short presentation on Reef Check’s work with coral and rocky reefs, including the IYOR 2008.
The Green Living Expo is another California event featuring the IYOR 2008. The Expo will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 12 and 13. Reef Check, in collaboration with the Florida based organization EarthRehab will be there to talk to the public about how to get involved in the International Year of the Reef 2008.
If you live in the Southern California area and are looking for an easy way to get involved in the IYOR 2008 and reef conservation please contact us at iyor2008@reefcheck.org or (310) 230-2371. We have several tabling events and need volunteers to help us run them. Make your conservation voice heard!