Abstract


COMMUNITY-BASED CORAL AQUACULTURE AND REEF REHABILITATION PROGRAM: THIRTEEN YEARS OF LESSONS LEARNED OF CORAL REEF MANAGEMENT IN PUERTO RICO

Community-based engagement in coral reef management has become a fundamental tool for supporting institutional activities. It can also foster significant hands-on and behavior-modifying education of community stakeholders through direct participation in conservation projects. However, there is still scarce information regarding lessons learned from such experiences. We discuss the case study of non-governmental organization Sociedad Ambiente Marino (SAM) from Puerto Rico (PR) and its Community-Based Coral Aquaculture and Reef Rehabilitation Program established in 2003. SAM use low-tech coral farming to rehabilitate formerly bombarded coral reefs in PR, in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). This has allowed the academic-NGO integration in multiple marine applied research projects, significantly increasing SAM's technical training for leading conservation oriented research. It also empowered SAM to write their own grants, obtain and administer external funds, and implement multiple projects. In a time of unprecedented socio-economic constriction and declining governance capacity, SAM has become an alternative to provide community-based support to government institutions and the academia conducting conservation-oriented research. This fostered major educational transformation and technical empowerment in SAM to plan and implement priority projects. Outcomes of this include sustained community volunteers engagement, educational and outreach activities, and an increased number of peer-reviewed publications. Lessons learned in the process will be discussed.

http://sampr.org

Authors

Olivo-Maldonado, I., Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Puerto Rico, iolivo11@yahoo.com

Suleiman-Ramos, S., Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Puerto Rico, samuelsuleiman@gmail.com

Mercado-Molina, A. E., Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Puerto Rico, amolinapr@gmail.com

Hernandez-Delgado, E. A., University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, edwin.hernandezdelgado@gmail.com

Details

Poster presentation

Session #:65
Date: 06/21/2016
Time: 18:15 - 19:45
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: Yes

PosterID: 612