[Coral-List] Park Buddy Program is a great success!
fdepondt at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 26 18:07:56 EDT 2004
Please find attached the press release giving account of the outstanding
success of the Park Buddy Program launched this year by The Coral Reef
Alliance. I hope that many of you will be interested in becoming involved in
this program next year.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 26, 2004
Contact: Florence Depondt, The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL)
Phone: (415) 834-0900 ext.313
Email: divein at coral.org
*** Photos and Promotional Materials Available ***
DIVERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HELP SAVE THE REEFS THEY LOVE
Park Buddy Program pays for urgent marine conservation projects
at some of the worlds best dive sites.
San Francisco, CA From an underwater poker game in Lubbock, Texas, to a
Reggae for Reefs benefit concert in San Francisco, California, scuba
divers across the country took a stand this spring to help protect some of
the worlds best coral reef dive sites. Dive clubs and community groups
organized a wide range of fundraising events to pay for five urgent coral
reef conservation projects. Through this remarkable show of support, almost
$19,000 was raised enough to complete these important projects: mooring
buoys in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (Belize); patrolling and monitoring
equipment for the Parque Nacional Marino Arrecifes de Cozumel (Mexico); park
ranger education for the Bonaire National Marine Park (Netherlands
Antilles); interpretive signs for Rock Islands (Palau); and patrol and boat
equipment for Southeast Cebu (Philippines).
The fundraising events were organized for the Coral Reef Alliances Park
Buddy Program, launched this year as part of the annual Dive In to Earth
Day event. This new program aims to support coral park managers in their
efforts to protect biologically diverse and increasingly threatened reefs by
engaging US citizens to become Park Buddies and help raise money to pay
for coral reef conservation projects.
"Alice and I love Cozumel and visit it whenever we have a chance," says Bill
Miller, Coral Park Buddy. "We want our grandchildren to be able to
experience Cozumel's reefs just as we have. This seemed like a great
opportunity to directly support real grassroots conservation. Bill and
Alice raised $550 by holding a barbecue and raffle with their friends and
family. The funds will help pay for a handheld GPS, digital cameras, and
other much needed equipment to patrol the Cozumel National Marine Park.
Coral reef marine protected areas are critical to the present and future
survival of coral reefs, but they are often understaffed and under funded.
All too often, park managers are unable to purchase necessary equipment, or
pay for important conservation projects, because they lack the time and
resources to fundraise to cover the costs. As Miguel Alamilla, Park Manager
of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, stated, this program has helped take some
of the pressure off of our staff, so that we can focus on what were here to
do patrol, monitor, and protect Hol Chans coral reefs.
The Park Buddy program is part of the annual Dive In to Earth Day event,
developed to raise awareness of coral reefs and ocean issues. In the past
five years, 200,000 people have organized more than 1,000 Dive In activities
in 89 countries and territories, including beach cleanups and educational
seminars. CORAL coordinates Dive In with the support of Project AWARE
Foundation, Earth Day Network, International Coral Reef Action Network
(ICRAN), Air Pacific, and West Marine.
Park Buddy 2005 sites will be announced in October.
For more information visit: www.coral.org/divein/parkbuddy
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