[Coral-List] PLANS FOR getting the word out

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 12 10:46:19 EDT 2008

thanks for the information on Reef Fest, and the participating foundations. Yes, I know about the activities you describe and I think this is a great first step on reaching out and increasing coral reef awareness throughout the community. 
However, as I exposed in my previous email to coral list, it is quite disturbing that at this point there seems to be little awareness. Remember, I mentioned recreational scuba divers, perhaps one of the most easy to engage user groups. I mentioned massive exposure taking advantage of regular human movement (=Miami and For Lauderdale airports).  We have to reach the passive activist, the armchair conservationist (as they are called in the new "green network"), or the large amount of people that will be unable to attend concerts and other events.
Here is an interesting twist. I wrote and published one popular science article about coral reef conservation (in Spanish) in El Periodico. 
This is one of the main newspapers in Spain. Remember that we don't have coral reefs in Spain. We have a few corals but they don't form reefs. So it could seem a drop in the ocean right? How come I convinced the editors of the newspaper to get the article published,with a full page spread and color photographs? Well, they got so much exposure that it prompted their competing newspaper (La Vanguardia) to publish a two page spread on coral reef conservation and IYOR with full color photographs. This in turn had several radio stations calling my family in Barcelona to finally locate me in the US, and resulted in two radio interviews, one with Catalunya radio (Based in Barcelona), and one with Vaughan radio (based in Madrid). That was early last summer before vacation season, when a great deal of spaniards visit the Spanish speaking Caribbean. 
So one little action, can generate a chain reaction. 
Perhaps this is an issue we can talk more about during ICRS. There is the COMPASS "journalists and science communication" event for example, and I invite anyone to stop by my poster (apologies for the plug here), so we can brainstorm some ideas for getting the word out
  Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. 

Marine Conservation Biologist
Ocean Research and Conservation Association, Fort Pierce, Florida, USA


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