CSCOR-supported Symposium Highlights State-of-the-Science on Coral Reefs in Puerto Rico
The 1st Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Coral Reef Symposium was held April 11, 2007 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR)-funded Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI) was a major co-sponsor of the symposium, and had hosted a similar meeting in 2006 which received significant interest.
This year’s symposium attracted over 300 participants and showcased the bulk of coral research and monitoring activities in Puerto Rico. Attendees included not only scientists, but resource managers, park rangers, and stakeholders. The significant public participation in the symposium demonstrated the increased concern for environmental issues in Puerto Rico.
Coincidentally, the keynote speaker, Dr. David E. Guggenheim, an advocate for ocean conservation and public policy, made a call in his lecture for improved awareness as a key factor for conservation to eliminate major anthropogenic impacts and allow natural processes to restore the proper dynamics of reef ecosystems. The majority of talks and posters at the symposium were related to CCRI research activities. CCRI is funded through a Cooperative Agreement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez. CCRI funding is administered by CSCOR and is a core component of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.