December 12, 2007

Looking Ahead to the International Year of the Reef 2008

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

The International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008 effort continues to move forward. Key events include the United States and Mexico serving as co-chairs of the International Coral Reef Initiative Secretariat from 2007-2009, allowing them to develop an action plan for coral reefs during their term; the 10th Anniversaries of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, Reef Check network, and the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force; the International Coral Reef Symposium to be held in July 2008 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; the release of the Global and U.S. ‘State of Reef’ reports; and the opening of the Smithsonian Oceans Hall Coral Reef Exhibit. In addition, the IYOR campaign will become an important component of the Philippines Dive Expo in March 14-16, 2008 in Manila. The Cut C-O-T (Crown of Thorns) and the Mooring Buoys Projects will be launched during this event.

During the International Year of the Reef, we invite you to submit a short story about how coral reefs have affected your life. Your story will be posted on the Reef Check IYOR website and each month a chosen winner will receive a Reef Check t-shirt of their choice. Please send your stories to We also invite you to send us details on any events you have planned for IYOR.

We would like to encourage everyone to show their support for reefs by signing the International Declaration of Reef Rights. You can view and sign the Declaration at: There are currently over 6500 signers from 120 countries! Be sure to send the link to your friends, family, and colleagues.