[Coral-List] CORAL launches 2005 Park Buddy Program

Flo Depondt fdepondt at coral.org
Thu Jan 13 21:55:15 EST 2005

Please find attached the press release entitled "Divers Take a Stand to  
Protect Endangered Coral Reefs: CORAL launches 2005 Park Buddy  

The project encourages divers to raise funds for four urgently needed  
conservation projects at some of the world's best dive sites.

If you would like to participate in the Park Buddy Program and make a  
difference, please contact Florence Depondt at divein at coral.org. For  
detailed information go to: <www.coral.org/divein/parkbuddy/>

Best wishes,

The Coral Reef Alliance

Date: January 13, 2005
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 Take a Stand to Protect Endangered Coral Reefs
CORAL launches 2005 Park Buddy Program

San Francisco, CA – The devastating impact of the tsunami that hit  
Southeast Asia on December 26th has demonstrated the urgency of  
protecting coral reefs worldwide. Coral reefs act as a natural barrier  
against powerful waves and tsunamis, an important role that is too  
often forgotten. There has never been a better time or opportunity for  
divers to show their love for some of the world’s most enchanting but  
endangered dive sites. CORAL’s Park Buddy program, in its second year  
running, offers ocean lovers just that: the chance to directly support  
fundraising efforts for four urgent conservation projects.

CORAL is launching its Park Buddy program as part of the annual Dive In  
To Earth Day event, held each year during the week of Earth Day, April  
22nd. Park Buddy aims to financially support coral reef protected area  
managers in their efforts to protect their biologically diverse and  
increasingly threatened reefs. Four conservation projects have been  
selected this year: patrolling equipment for the Sandy Bay West End  
Marine Reserve of Roatan, Honduras; mooring buoy installation equipment  
for Papua New Guinea; a research vessel to enable documentation of the  
extensive reefs of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia; and  
an educational visitors’ center at the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes  
Marine Reserve in Placencia, Belize.

  “Global estimates suggest that as many as 70% of coral reef protected  
areas established worldwide are not effectively managed, often because  
they lack the funding and resources” explains Brian Huse, CORAL’s  
Executive Director. “The Park Buddy Program was developed to bring  
small but significant support to these protected areas. It’s incredible  
to see the difference a little money can make. Last year our Park  
Buddies funded mooring buoys, purchased patrolling and monitoring  
equipment, created educational signs and educated park rangers”.

The program was an outstanding success in its first year, and is set to  
be an even bigger success in 2005. CORAL’s 2004 Park Buddies held  
exciting fundraising events such as underwater poker games and benefit  
reggae concerts and raised an incredible $20,000 USD. “Becoming a Park  
Buddy is an exciting and easy way to take a stand in support of coral  
reef protected areas and the incredible diving that they offer,” says  
Tanya Streeter, World Champion Freediver and Dive In Committee member,  
“And it’s fun!  You can hold a fundraising dinner party, team up with  
your local dive shop and organize a dive-a-thon, ask your friends to  
play for a benefit concert, organize an underwater monopoly, raffle  
some of the gear in your dive shop, or just send in a donation… the  
list goes on!”

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) and West Marine.

For more information visit: www.coral.org/divein/parkbuddy
# # #

Florence Depondt
Program Assistant
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL)

417 Montgomery Street, Suite 205
San Francisco, California, USA 94104
Phone: 415-834-0900 ext.313
Fax: 415-834-0999
Email: fdepondt at coral.org
Web site:  http://www.coral.org/divein
Have you signed the Dive In Pledge yet?  Show that you care about coral  
reefs.  http://www.coral.org/diveinpledge.html

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) coordinates Dive In To Earth Day in  
partnership with Project AWARE Foundation, and with the support of West  
Marine, Air Pacific, Earth Day Network and the International Coral Reef  
Action Network (ICRAN).

Need information on how to better protect coral reefs of your region?
Share success stories or post inquiries on the CORAL Discussion Board.

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