[Coral-List] Education of the masses - call for students to act

Jada-Simone S. White jswhite at zoology.ufl.edu
Wed Jul 30 10:23:19 EDT 2008

As a student attendee at ICRS, I was also inspired to action by the 
emphasis on public education. If graduate students make a coordinated 
effort to publish the 'Reefs for the Future' message in our student 
newspapers the first week of school, we can reach the large consumer 
population that will become the next generation of community leaders. We 
can take advantage of the already created PSA's (described in the 
previous message from Francis Staub below) as well as the Briefing 
Papers available on the ISRS website (http://www.fit.edu/isrs/) to hone 
our message. In particular, NOAA provides a nice framework (see below) 
and we can use our experiences at the meeting to personalize the messages.

As scientists, we are keenly aware of the small daily changes we must 
make to save our reefs. Students are slightly more receptive than the 
average population and an article in the student paper could include 
ideas to decrease our individual impact on acute stressors, as well as 
web links to ongoing local efforts to increase sustainable practices. We 
might as well begin the new school year with a strong message of hope. 
Perhaps even praising those efforts campuses have made to reduce their 
carbon footprint, where appropriate. My labmate, François Michonneau, 
and I are currently drafting an article for the Independent Florida 
Alligator for publication in August.

In addition to student newspapers, there are many media outlets 
throughout most major universities. Other efforts could include 
broadcasting some of these PSA's in our student unions or residence 
halls and posting ISRS briefing posters around our departments / marine 
labs. Perhaps if students get the message form multiple sources and in 
multiple forms, they will see the problem and, importantly, steps they 
can take to reduce it. These approaches are inexpensive (often free, 
other than time), will utilize existing resources, and will target an 
important subset of our population.

Will other students join us in this call to action? 


Jada-Simone White
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Zoology
University of Florida

Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 10:39:03 -0400 
From: "Francis Staub" <fstaub at iyor.org>
Subject: [Coral-List] Education of the masses
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <002a01c8ee64$304a38d0$6501a8c0 at Francis>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

Dear Antares:

All your suggestions are good ideas and as you mentioned the problem is
funding. However, I'd like to let you know that several organizations
already developed some very good materials (and very similar with what you
are mentioning). Also, for those who attended the last ICRS and visited the
education center, I am sure you were surprised by the number of existing
materials. Thus, I don't think we need to reinvent the wheel and develop
more material, we just need o work together and better disseminate the
existing one. You will find below some examples of existing materials or
"mass media" outreach campaigns (most of them were done as a 
contribution to
the International Year of the Reef 2008):

* The NOAA Coral Reef Public Service Announcement Poster Project: this
Public Service Announcement Poster Project was designed to create a public
affinity for the long-term conservation of coral reefs and to educate reef
tourists and user groups. The Poster Project incorporates billboards and
bus-stop posters, as well as "duratrans" and "spectaculars" (images
displayed in international airports), in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Miami,
Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (these posters were created 
a grant from the Coral Reef Conservation Fund of NOAA and the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation). More info at:
http://www.coralreef.noaa.gov/outreach/protect/welcome.html. I also posted
some images of the billboards on the following link

* In Brazil, at some airports, billboards are displaying coral reef
information for tourists (http://www.iyor.org/corallist.asp)

* As part of the International Year of the Reef campaign, the Honolulu
Advertiser distributed a newsprint version of The Living Reef, as a 28-page
primer on Hawaii's coral reefs and their environmental, economic, cultural
and recreational values as well as the threats to them. Content for the
insert was provided by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and was produced in
cooperation with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), and the State of Hawai'i, Dept of Land & Natural Resources, 
of Aquatic Resources (DAR). The Living Reef insert went out to all 150,000
Advertiser subscribers statewide and an additional 20,000 to schools and
teachers (http://www.iyor.org/focalpoints/countries/hi/)

* In France (in Paris), billboards in the metro station have information
about a Coral Reef exhibit being currently held at the Aquarium of Porte

* NOAA, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, UrbanArts Institute at
Mass College of Art and other Marine and Ocean Conservation NGOs supported
the production and distribution of a series of 30 second TV PSAs to educate
the US public concerning ocean-coral reef and coastal environmental
education. The main message is "Whether you live one mile or one thousand
miles from a coral reef, your actions affect the reefs' future and the
reefs' future affects yours. As the natural guardians of our shores, reefs
play a vital role in our global ecosystem. With climate change, pollution,
and overfishing contributing to coral reef degradation, we can all play a
role in protecting our land, sea and sky. And all it takes is a few simple
changes to your daily routine." (all the PSAs are available at:
These PSAs are or will be broadcast on several major channels/networks. For

- LA TV (National Rotation of all PSAs started on July 26, 2008, in English
and Spanish)
- Discovery Channel (the short 15 second version of the IYOR Main 
Message is
broadcast nationally on all Discovery TV Networks. The 30 Second Spanish
version of the main messages is broadcast on the Discovery Channel Latina.
The PSAs are will be broadcasted for the next 6 months)
- From August 15 - 21, the main IYOR 30 second PSA  will be screened before
each film at AMC Loews Georgetown Movie Theatre (Washington, DC) .
This is just a glimpse of what is currently happening during the ICRI
International Year of the Reef. A lot of other countries have outreach
campaign on TV, Radio and press. For more information, please visit:


Francis Staub
ICRI IYOR Coordinator
c/o AJH Environmental Services 4900 Auburn Avenue - Suite 201 Bethesda, 
MD 20814
http://www.iyor.org http://www.icriforum.org
Support the International Year of the Reef 2008: www.nfwf.org/iyor

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