Abstract


FROM SEA LOVING PEOPLE TO CITIZENS SCIENTISTS COMMUNITY: A CASE OF OVER TWO DECADES OF SUCCESSFUL EVOLUTION IN THE BENEFITS OF THE CORAL REEFS IN PUERTO RICO

Current conditions of coral reefs are in a great state of decline due to an increased demand and misuse of resources, losing their ability to self-sustain. It is critical to improve the understanding, participation and management capacity of stakeholders to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs ecosystem resilience, functions and sustainability. Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Sociedad Ambiente Marino (SAM) has a history of more than two decades of implementing social strategies in coastal communities in Puerto Rico for engaging volunteers. The interest and desire of those who enjoy their passion for the sea are a great source of motivation to protect their resources. Sharing scientific knowledge with coastal communities through a participatory model has transformed time, motivation and energy of a group of volunteers into knowledge and action, providing them with solid tools and empowerment to fulfill their purpose in the conservation and rehabilitation of coral reefs. This has empowered SAM to develop a multiplicity of conservation-oriented projects, transforming marine conservation activities into hypothesis-driven research. SAM has produced over 70 scientific presentations in more than 12 international scientific meetings, generating over 20 peer-reviewed publications, through a wide spectrum of students and community volunteers. By changing paradigms, reversing the equation through technical empowerment, and fostering its member's professional career evolution related to marine conservation, SAM has become a role model for other small Caribbean organizations.

http://www.sampr.org

Authors

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

Hernandez-Delgado, E. A., Sociedad Ambiente Marino / University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, coral_giac@yahoo.com

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

Candelas-Sanchez, F., Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Puerto Rico, francescandelas@gmail.com

Details

Poster presentation

Session #:88
Date: 06/22/2016
Time: 18:15 - 19:45
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: No

PosterID: 723