Reducing Recreational Damage
Reducing Anchor Damage: CORAL has funded the installation of mooring buoys in Roatan and Cayos Cochinos, which allows tourist vessels to visit the reefs without dropping anchor. CORAL also provided a microgrant in Roatan to install channel markers and fishing moorings.
Mesoamerican Reef Voluntary Standards for Marine Recreation: This CORAL-led effort provides detailed requirements for environmentally friendly and safety-conscious marine tourism businesses in the areas of diving, snorkeling, and boating. By engaging many key stakeholders in the creation of the standards, CORAL has secured majority buy-in for the adoption and practice of reef-safe activity. Roatan was the first pilot site to test the creation and implementation of the voluntary standards.
Educating Tour Operators: Through Sustainable Marine Recreation workshops, CORAL has educated marine recreation providers in the Bay Islands about the importance of reef conservation and how they can reduce their impacts on the reef.
Supporting Local Conservation
Support for Marine Parks: CORAL has been committed to supporting the Roatan Marine Park since its inception, and provided the organization with its first grant. Recently, CORAL developed a business plan that will help the Roatan Marine Park achieve its conservation goals and expand its presence in the community. CORAL also supports the declaration of Cordelia Banks, a sensitive area with unusually high coral cover, as a protected area.
Microgrants for Local Conservation Initiatives: Participants in CORAL’s Conservation in Action Workshops develop proposals for conservation projects that can be financed through microgrants. CORAL has awarded microgrants in Roatan and Cayos Cochinos that have helped to install mooring buoys, improve park infrastructure, and foster community participation in conservation efforts.
Reducing Harmful Impacts
Improving Business Practices: CORAL’s Environmental Walk-Through Program provides assessments that advise marine recreation providers on how they can improve their environmental practices and reduce impacts on coral reef ecosystems. This program is providing feedback to marine recreation providers working in the Sandy Bay West End Marine Reserve.
Raising Awareness: The CORAL Reef Leadership Network in Honduras includes leaders who come from different ethnic backgrounds play a variety of key roles in communities across the Bay Islands. This diverse group can reach a broad audience with reef conservation messages.