Dive gong promotes Little Cayman and marine expert

| 07/10/2014

(CNS): Dr Carrie Manfrino, founder and director of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) which is located on Little Cayman has received an industry related gong helping to promote both her work and the smallest of Cayman’s three islands. Manfrino was named a Sea Hero in the Sept/Oct issue of Scuba Diving Magazine. The award recognizes people who have made exceptional contributions to marine conservation on the front lines of ocean and marine life preservation. “My serious concern about modern reefs began in 1998 after a heartbreaking field season on Grand Cayman when all of the corals in my study area were dead,” Manfrino said.

The expert has spent nearly two decades undertaking coral reef research after here disturbing field dive inspired  her to establish CCMI in 1998 with the dedicated mission of protecting coral reefs for the future. Since its inception, CCMI has published and facilitated critical coral reef research at the forefront of coral fluorescence, lionfish culling, ocean acidification, and reef resilience.

Manfrino urges divers to continue to, “bear witness to the marvels of a healthy living ocean.”

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute aims to understand what contributes to reef resilience to help restore the balance of healthy coral reefs. “The great news is that corals are surviving at Little Cayman which offers enormous hope for the future,” Manfrino added.

Scuba divers interesting in getting involved with the science can also join CCMI on a number of their citizen science initiatives, including a marine census to photo-document the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) coral species on Little Cayman.

Speaking about the awards Mary Frances Emmons, deputy editor of Scuba Diving, Sport Diving, and The Undersea Journal said they are given to “ordinary divers who make an extraordinary difference, and inspire the rest of us with their compassion and dedication. Dr Manfrino’s work has shown that coral reefs in the Caribbean can not only survive the changes that threaten the future of our oceans, but actually remain healthy and even expand.”

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