Sunday 25 October, 2020

CCMI launches 'We Need Healthy Reefs' campaign

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) will continue its work to protect healthy coral reefs and vibrant oceans for the future through a new year-long ‘We Need Healthy Reefs’ 2020 campaign.

Started in 2019 as ‘We Love Heathy Reefs’, the 2020 ‘We Need Healthy Reefs’ message will have greater emphasis on why healthy coral reefs are critical to the well-being of the oceans and the Cayman Islands.

This effort complements the growth of CCMI’s research programme through our Vision 2025 efforts, where we increase our efforts to unlock the secrets of coral resiliency and solidify the state of our reefs as being among the healthiest in the Caribbean – and among the healthiest in the world.

CCMI will continue important reef health assessments and coral monitoring field work while also providing valuable education and outreach experiences to engage the community and inspire action for Cayman’s coral reefs. Members of the public are encouraged to participate in events and activities, many of which are free, in order to enhance their knowledge about coral reefs and their importance as a marine ecosystem.

The first event hosted by CCMI will be part of the 2020 Reef Lecture Series, a way to communicate work that comes out of the Little Cayman Research Centre by CCMI scientists and collaborators. The series will be a minimum of three lectures in Grand Cayman, and the first lecture will be presented by Dr Anya Brown, collaborative scientist from the University of Florida (UF).

UF and CCMI have developed projects together on the invasive lionfish and coral restoration since 2009. Dr Brown is part of the collaborative UF/CCMI team investigating the various aspects of coral reproduction and resiliency, including outplanting survival techniques, spawning and resilience to disease and bleaching. 

Dr Brown’s session, ‘Coral Health: from microbes to branches,’ will be held on Tuesday, January 21 at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands in the Dart Auditorium.

Dr Brown recently received her PhD from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, but her interest in marine ecology began early. In college she studied marine biology at Brown University, and her research since has taken her to Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia, California and French Polynesia.

Following her undergraduate programme, she completed a Master of Science at Cal State University, Northridge. She conducted both her master’s and PhD research in Moorea, French Polynesia. Dr Brown is currently in the Ewel Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Ecology and Environmental Science.

The Reef Lecture will begin at 5.45 pm, and it will conclude at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public and registration is required here.

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is hosting this event, and they will serve as the CCMI Reef Lecture venue partner for the 2020 series of events.

For more information about CCMI, upcoming events, and how to help protect our reefs, visit

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