By Carey Morishige, Executive director, AIC Secretariat
As is the case in so many other conservation areas, being effective and successful is never a “one-man show,” meaning it simply could not be done (well!) without the partnership and participation of numerous entities working together. In my experience, the “working together” is critical.
This is why I was so excited to have been asked to participate in a meeting where building effective communication and relationships were key objectives. The DAR-NOAA Coral Reef Priorities Meeting took place on June 4th and was held at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, HI. The goal of the meeting was to allow Hawaii’s lead coral reef management agency, DAR, to share local coral reef management priorities with partners who also do work on coral reefs in the state. The meeting was coordinated by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR; part of the Department of Land and Natural Resources).
An objective of this meeting was to also help ensure that internal NOAA proposals (to the FY15 CRCP Request for Proposals) are aligned with Pacific jurisdictional coral reef priorities and needs. To this end, I was asked to reach out to the other Pacific Island jurisdictions (American Samoa, CNMI, and Guam) and share their FY15 coral reef management priorities.
This successful meeting yielded numerous positive comments and brought together nearly 100 people from Hawaii and across the country. Participants included NOAA staff as well as partners, such as the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Oceanic Institute, University of Hawaii, Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council, and The Nature Conservancy. Continuing to build effective partnerships, through good communication and information sharing, is important to the AIC and I look forward to continued work with all of our great partners.
A follow-up meeting will be held in July with NOAA principal investigators intending to submit a proposal to the CRCP internal call for proposals. This meeting will allow NOAA to share their project ideas with DAR for feedback and input.