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As of January 2020, global media reports that fires this season in Australia have burned >18 million hectares, and killed an estimated 1 billion animals, possibly driving some species close to extinction. Image: Glen Morey

 

Accelerated Ecosystem Recovery 

 AUSTRALIA

No one has escaped exposure to the rapid and devastating loss of Australia’s forested ecosystems through the recent fires. Over the space of 3 months, fires alone have released nearly a years’ worth of Australia’s total annual CO2 emissions; the capacity of the remaining forests to reabsorb this CO2 is vastly reduced. 

This ecological catastrophe mirrors that which many of us in the coral reef community have witnessed first-hand through recent mass coral bleaching and disease – sudden and devastating ecological loss, directly and indirectly impacting many stakeholders. National-level actions to address and mitigate climate change are still frustratingly thin and uncertain, requiring that efforts be scaled to accelerate ecosystem recovery, rehabilitation and resilience. Finding such immediate solutions for reforestation inevitably carries benefits towards reef health and therefore, broader restoration initiatives.

Not surprisingly, the questions being asked for reforestation also parallel those for rapidly developing reef restoration initiatives: whether and how we can most quickly regain – and retain – lost biomass at the base of the ecosystem. A new Australian company – Airseed Technologies has been exploring a novel answer: use of drones for re-seeding large areas. The innovation lies in the use of a specialised “seedpod” (fired by the drone) that nurtures and protects seeds during early germination and growth. As with reef restoration, reseeding our coasts (and catchments) will not be achieved with a single formula. How the nature and delivery of the seedpod technology can be optimised will depend on investing in resources to identify what works best, where and when across species and habitat.
Visit Airseed Tech, contact Andrew Walker (awalker@airseedtech.com), or University of Technology Sydney research partner David Suggett (David.Suggett@uts.edu.au) for more information.
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Sign up for a Working Group, a Regional Group, or an ad-hoc group  HERE.

To join the core team of a Working Group, please contact coral.restoration@noaa.gov


CRC ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • We are trying to improve our communications with you! Please help us by taking a five minute survey by Friday, February 14

  • The Genetics Working Group is collecting a list of organizations interested in having Acropora samples genotyped using SNPChip. If your organization is interested in participating, email coral.restoration.noaa.gov by February 15, 2020

  • Interested in contributing to the Monitoring Working Group? Add your two cents about priorities, webinars, products, and more. 
     

PARTNER ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • NOAA announces a new grant opportunity focused on coral interventions! The Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grant is a tribute to Ruth’s work, aiming to address the decline in coral reefs through innovative research. At least $500K will be available for the first year of funding, and applications are due March 20, 2020.

  • Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources and the Hawaii Coral Restoration Nursery (HCRN) is sponsoring the very first Hawaii Coral School (HCS), June 1-5 at the Anuenue Fisheries Research Center (AFRC) on Sand Island in Honolulu. Attendees will learn coral husbandry from HCRN’s professional coral aquarists. Workshop is free and limited to 18 people. Attendees pay for their own transportation, lodging, and meals. Apply here by February 14, 2020.

  • Funding and political will were the leading enablers to help restore coral reefs, it was revealed in a recent survey of 28 ICRI members (countries and organisations) striving to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems. Find more information and a snapshot of the survey findings HERE.


POSITION ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Disney Marine Conservation Program Manager at Walt Disney Company, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The aquatic conservation biologist will help deliver the Disney Conservation Team Wildlife’s mission to Lead, Care, Connect and Conserve. Focus will be on coral rehabilitation. Closes February 5, 2020.

  • Volunteer Coordinator for the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo, FL. 

  • Postdoctoral Position researching the influence of environmental pH exposure and thermal sensitivity on coral physiology in the Barott lab at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. For more information and how to apply, please email kbarott@sas.upenn.edu.

  • Postdoctoral Researcher in Coral Cell Biology in Lewinski lab at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA).

  • Postdoctoral Position: Modeling coral reef and seagrass ecosystems. The ideal applicant would have strong quantitative skills, particularly with some combination of population modeling, bioenergetics, agent-based models, or nutrient dynamics models. The position is available beginning immediately in the Allgeier Lab at the University of Michigan.

UPCOMING MEETINGS: 

 2020

 2021

  • May 17-21 (Key Largo, FL): Reef Futures Conference 2021.


February 2020 MEDIA ROUNDUP 

Email coral.restoration@noaa.gov to have your news and research included.

Coral in Crisis: Can Replanting Efforts Halt Reefs’ Death Spiral?

Cirino, Erica (January 26)

Research:

News:

The mission of the CRC is to foster collaboration and technology transfer among coral restoration scientists, practitioners, and managers, and to facilitate a community of practice that will advance coral restoration to keep pace with rapidly changing ocean and environmental conditions.


We encourage you to get involved! We are updating our CRC website to make information more readily available, and CRC’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channel have news and current events related to coral reef restoration.
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Copyright © 2020 Coral Restoration Consortium, All rights reserved.


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