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Stand Up for Reefs

Stand Up for Reefs


This podcast series is brought to you by the team at CCMI (the Central Caribbean Marine Institute), to bring listeners closer to coral reefs and to help instill a sense of care for the precious coral reef ecosystem. This series will include a range of special guests, brought in to discuss some of the big issues facing reefs, as well as how anyone, anywhere, can help protect reefs for the future.
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Episode 5 – Don’t take our word for it…

Stand Up for ReefsSep 07, 2021

Episode 5 – Don’t take our word for it…

Episode 5 – Don’t take our word for it…

Throughout our podcast series, we have discussed many of the issues facing coral reefs today, how scientists are trying to combat the threats and how engaged stakeholders such as photographers and teachers are all working to help make a difference. In this episode, we speak with John Bothwell, manager of Legislation Implementation and Coordination Unit for the Cayman Islands Department of Environment.

In April 1986, the Cayman Islands took region leading decisive action to protect the coral reef ecosystem by establishing their first Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs. In Episode 2, we talked about the goal to establish 30% of protected areas across the world and the fact that less than 7.68% of the ocean are already under this protection.  Over 25 years ago, Cayman made a hugely progressive leap, despite some resistance to change locally, implemented an MPA system that is world-leading. The MPAs have recently been enlarged to 46% of national waters/coast. The DOE have also spearheaded key species programmes, such as the conch and lobster ‘no take’ programmes that work to ensure they can be fished by locals but the populations are given space to recover, ensuring a sustainable future, as well as the Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation work in Little Cayman and countless studies on sharks, turtles, parrotfish etc. John has also been involved in crafting the Biodiversity Action Plans, which provides a holistic policy overview of how to protect the coral reef ecosystem across the spectrum of ecological service systems.

Sep 07, 202101:02:56
Episode 4- Ways to engage with coral reef protection

Episode 4- Ways to engage with coral reef protection

In the fourth episode of our "Stand Up for Reefs" podcast series, host Kate Holden tackles how people can engage with coral reef protection from a variety of access points. As we discussed in episode 3 with Ellen Cuylaerts, one does not have to be a scientist to understand, care about, and make a difference for our oceans and our planet. People of all ages and from all walks of life may have different reasons that the ocean is personally meaningful and worthy of protection to them. As podcast host Kate Holden discusses, early engagement with nature and the ocean has been proven to increase pro-environmental behaviour in adulthood. The children of today are also growing up with an ocean that is definitely facing challenges, an ocean that needs us to go beyond caring about and moving to ‘do something about’. But many people find the threats facing our oceans too complex or too dire to even begin to engage with. This is a challenge for scientists, educators and conservationists, as we try to communicate the gravity and urgency of the state of our oceans and planet without overwhelming people and making them feel powerless. 

CCMI's guest for this episode, Sarah McDougall, trained as a Theatre Costume designer in Liverpool and had a successful career as a costumier for 21 years, including working at the Royal Ballet, as well as TV and film. Sarah then shifted gears and trained as a teacher specialising in Art and Design. In 2019, Sarah partnered with CCMI for the first time, via her class at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, or CIFEC, on our Healthy Reefs Campaign. From that time, her students in each year's cohort have created art projects with CCMI as the client to support our Healthy Reefs Campaign. Through their artwork, the students are engaging with the issues facing oceans and then creating something genuinely beautiful out of it. 

Kate and Sarah discuss art as a point of entry into science, and how insight gained by working on the Healthy Reefs project has helped Sarah's students increase their understanding and achieve academic success. 

To see examples of artwork created by Sarah's students, visit the online gallery on CCMI's website:

View examples of Sarah's artwork:

Learn more about CCMI at

Connect with CCMI on social media- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Jul 20, 202138:27
Episode 3 – No blue, no green
Jul 06, 202142:60
Episode 2- What’s so tricky about protecting reefs?
Jun 22, 202129:27
Episode 1 - Why do we need to STAND UP FOR REEFS?

Episode 1 - Why do we need to STAND UP FOR REEFS?

We’re kicking off CCMI’s initial podcast episode. Meet Kate Holden, your host and CCMI’s director of advancement. She’ll discuss the below…

Why do we need to STAND UP FOR REEFS?

Did you know…? Coral reefs provide protections for up to one million species! You may be closer to and more reliant upon a coral reef than you think!

Kate interviews CCMI’s director of research, Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley. They discuss Dr. Gretchen’s work, her background interest in science (from the age of 7!). She developed a passion for marine biology and scuba diving from a young age… and her path since then has led her to focus her research on the deepest parts of coral reefs which are completely inaccessible to most scuba divers.

They also talk about coral bleaching: what it is, how it is happening more frequently and what that means for coral reefs. Dr. Gretchen’s research looks at deep reefs as a potential refuge for corals in the future as the climate continues to change.

Dr. Gretchen and Kate talk about some of the many reasons that coral reefs are important to us all, and they discuss clear cases of threats to reefs, including plastic pollution, overfishing, and invasive lionfish.

They also talk about positive actions people can take anywhere to reduce our harmful impact on coral reefs.

The episode ends with a quick round of True or False: Coral Reef Facts.

Jun 08, 202133:54
Introducing Stand Up for Reefs: NEW Series Trailer

Introducing Stand Up for Reefs: NEW Series Trailer

Introducing "Stand Up for Reefs", a podcast created by the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI). This podcast, hosted by CCMI's director of advancement, Kate Holden, has been created to help bring our listeners closer to the ocean, wherever you are. We'll be speaking with a range of interesting guests- scientists, teachers, and more, about important issues facing our oceans, what's being done, and how we can all pitch in to make a difference. Subscribe, listen, and share your thoughts and feedback with us. If you find the conversation interesting, we want you to take part. Send your comments to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram under the handle @reefresearch and PLEASE, share the podcast with your friends First full episode drops on World Ocean Day, June 8 2021.

Our opening series will consist of six episodes:

Episode 1 - Why do we need to stand up for reefs?

Episode 2 - What’s so tricky about protecting reefs?

Episode 3 – No blue, no green

Episode 4 - Ways to engage with coral reef protection

Episode 5 – Don’t take our word for it… 

Episode 6 – Get up, stand up…

May 31, 202100:52