[Coral-List] ICRS and IYOR 2008: getting the word out

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Wed Jun 11 21:48:14 EDT 2008


    I feel a little guilty about the lack of awareness of International 
Year of the Reef because I live in your area, but the Reef Fest effort 
(www.reeffest.org) has been doing some work on this, and in that very 
same area.  (The Reef Fest Fund is administered by the National Fish and 
Wildlife Foundation, see www.nfwf.org/reefeest, and Reef Fest is also an 
official IYOR event).  As you can see by looking at the Reef Fest Web 
site (click on "Artists"), Reef Fest had quite a few artists play music 
at Reef Fest concerts, and though they haven't all been well-attended, 
hundreds of people have learned of IYOR and the plight of corals.  
However, there is more good news:

    On July 8 and 9, as one of the official 11ICRS and IYOR activities, 
the Reef Fest effort will be having two concerts at Alligator Alley near 
Fort Lauderdale (more on this in a later message) called Reef Rally.  
The public, including local fishermen and divers, will soon be aware of 
this and hopefully they will attend to help support the effort.

    Better still, later in the year, probably November 15, at Jaco 
Pastorious Park in Oakland Park (near Fort Lauderdale, 
http://oaklandparkmainstreet.com/jaco.html), there will be a major event 
called the Reef Fest Big Splash, which will have big name bands and will 
be sponsored by some great organizations and corporations, including 
especially the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (Dr. Harvey himself will be 
there).  This event will be widely advertised and marketed through the 
support of these sponsors, again with donations from admissions and 
other sources of income going to the Reef Fest Fund.  This is  your 
chance to help get the word out!  See the Participate link at the Reef 
Fest site.

    Finally, Reef Fest will continue to have  follow-up local club 
concerts as earlier this year, it will have another big concert next 
year, and the model will be used to expand to other venues.  For more 
information on how anybody can start a Reef Fest concert in their area 
to help "the cause" during the IYOR, see the Reef Fest site, and the 
MySpace Reef Fest site at www.myspace.com/reeffest.

    See you at the gigs, right?


Sarah Frias-Torres wrote:
> Dear Coral-Listers and ICRS organizers,
> January this year to last weekend I have been scuba diving in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach area, using regular dive charters. Each time I had the chance, I asked fellow divers in the boat, and the dive masters and boat captains if they knew about the upcoming International Coral Reef Symposium in Fort Lauderdale and associated outreach activities.
> I was surprised to see that most of the divers asked did not know of such event, have not seen it on the local newspapers, news media, and my mention of it was the first time they knew such an event existed. And only 25 % knew that 2008 is the International Year of the Reef.
> Only the dive masters and captains of three dive shops knew about the conference and IYOR: Prodive usa (which has now closed business), American Dream and Pura vida divers (which are the two dive shops providing organized trips for symposium attendees). 
> Further, while flying in and out the Miami and Fort Lauderdale international airports during the last 12 months, (which are likely the airports that will absorb most of the symposium attendees, and are indeed the entry point for Florida, Caribbean and connecting flights to the Americas), I did not see a sign of any slide show, video, or visual aid related to the International year of the Reef. I only saw a beautiful coral reef photo from NOAA in a corridor connecting terminals D and E (I think that was the correct direction) in Miami International Airport.
> Maybe there is some PR campaign I don't know of, or maybe public service announcements will be provided to the community at some point, but it seems to me that a great opportunity to reach out to the general public and to specific users (i.e. the scuba diving community) has been missed. Considering the desperate situation of most of the coral reefs worldwide I find this lack of exposure quite disturbing.
> We are about the half way mark of IYOR and gearing up for ICRS.... so any ideas on how to get the word out?
> Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. 
> Marine Conservation Biologist
> Ocean Research and Conservation Association, Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

More information about the Coral-List mailing list