World Ocean Day is celebrated across the globe on 8 June each year, and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) is encouraging people to join in the effort to Stand Up for Coral Reefs this June. Beaches, coastlines, and seas are all interconnected via one global ocean. The ocean covers over 70% of the earth, and coral reefs are an important component of ocean health as they support 25% of all marine life and provide homes and protection for up to one million species. Coral reefs can be found in the tropics, as well as colder and deeper locations around the globe. They play an important role in global food supply, tourism activity, coastline protection, and various economic activity where they are found.
However, coral reefs are facing increasing pressures due to warming ocean temperatures, overfishing, increased coastal development, and other human activity. Coral reefs need our help, and CCMI is using the month of June to encourage people to do their part to protect and restore coral reefs.
Kate Holden, Director of Advancement, is excited about the opportunity to engage people who care about coral reefs through the Stand Up for Coral Reefs campaign. “We know that people want to help and are eager to learn what they can do to support efforts that keep our oceans and coral reefs healthy. Our goal is to offer information and activities that help people connect to the oceans, understand the challenges that our marine environment faces, and what each person can do to take a stand for coral reefs. Time is not on our side, and we need to ensure people understand the urgency of taking action now.”
Participation in the World Ocean Day events is free thanks to Healthy Reefs sponsors Foste’s Supermarket, Aureum Re, Island Heritage Insurance, and Knighthead Annuity, as well as our venue partners Dart and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.
For more information about CCMI’s World Ocean Day activity and information about taking positive action for coral reefs, visit www.reefresearch.org/standup4reefs or like CCMI’s page on Facebook.
Reefs Go Live: Stand Up for Coral Reefs
Camana Bay Cinema
Saturday, 5th June 2021 (1:45pm – 2:30pm)
Participants will join CCMI scientists and educators for this virtual live dive with our team in Little Cayman to learn why we should stand up for coral reefs. Our Grand Cayman ‘dive buddies’ at the Cinema will help us explore this special ecosystem, and we’ll appreciate the beauty and diversity of coral reefs. Together, we will discuss why reefs are so important to the Cayman Islands, learn why climate change is an urgent threat to long term survival of coral reefs, and discuss why we need to stand up for coral reefs now. CCMI’s educators and researchers will help everyone leave the event with specific actions we can all take to help save corals reefs.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive shortly ahead of the Reefs Go Live broadcast at the Cinema to take the Stand Up for Reefs pledge and learn more about the work CCMI does to restore coral reefs. After checking in at registration and taking the pledge, participants can enter the Cinema for the Reefs Go Live broadcast, which will run from 1:45 – 2:30 pm. Snacks are available for purchase from the Cinema concessions.
This event is free and open to the public, and it is appropriate for all ages. Please register here as space is limited for the in-person event. A virtual ticket to watch from anywhere in the world is also available!
Reef Lecture: CCMI Research Update
National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
Tuesday, 8th June 2021 (5:45pm-7pm)
Join Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, CCMI’s Director of Research, to celebrate World Ocean Day and to get an update on CCMI’s work on coral reef ecology and restoration.
CCMI has been monitoring the reefs in the Cayman Islands for over 20 years and began our long-term coral restoration programme in 2012. We have just launched a new Reef Ecology and Evolution Lab (REEL), which utilises cutting edge science to help understand climate change and how coral reefs can adapt for the future.
This event is free; registration is requested as seating is limited (this is an in-person event ONLY): https://donate.reefresearch.org/rls_WOD2021/.
Take the Stand Up for Reef pledge
Join CCMI in taking the Stand Up for Reefs pledge on World Ocean Day. People who care about protecting coral reefs should record themselves taking the pledge, then share the video on social media. This virtual effort will create increased public awareness about the need to protect our oceans – and specifically our coral reefs – for the future. The Stand Up for Reefs pledge will be posted on 5th June at reefresearch.org/standup4reefs/.
The Stand up for Reefs podcast series has one clear goal: to bring our listeners closer to coral reefs and to help instill a sense of care for the precious coral reef ecosystem.
The series will include a range of special guests, bringing their love of the ocean to you at home (or in your car, on your run or at work!). This podcast is for everyone, young, old, no scientific knowledge, some understanding of why corals are important – it does not matter. What brings us all together is knowing we need to create a brighter future for our oceans and coral reefs are integral to future global health.