2017 Coral Reef Alliance Conservation Prize

Since 2014, CORAL has awarded the CORAL Conservation Prize to an extraordinary leader within the coral reef conservation community; we are pleased to introduce Dr. Ruben Torres as our 2017 Prize winner.

“The CORAL Conservation Prize is a unique opportunity to recognize leaders in coral reef conservation who embody CORAL’s mission to unite communities to save coral reef,” said Dr. Michael Webster, Executive Director at CORAL. “This year, we will celebrate Dr. Ruben Torres, for his passion, commitment to partnerships and proven success protecting and saving coral reefs in the Dominican Republic.”

Meet Dr. Ruben Torres, 2017 CORAL Conservation Prize Winner

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Ruben Torres has emerged as a leader in protecting coral reefs by partnering with local fishermen, hotels, students and volunteers. He has brought coral reef conservation and awareness to a new level in the Dominican Republic by managing marine protected areas, promoting sustainable seafood and contributing to new national conservation policies.

Ruben has a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Miami and B.S. in Biology from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. He is currently the Caribbean Regional Coordinator for Reef Check International and founder and President of Reef Check Dominican Republic. His other activities include founder and CEO of Torres Environmental Consulting (TEC UNLIMITED), a member of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Lionfish Committee as well as the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. Rubens is also a mentor for the Caribbean Marine Protected Area Managers Network of the United Nations Environmental Programme and a certified PADI SCUBA diving and Emergency First Response Instructor.

Ruben’s passion for community leadership in coral reef conservation has helped save coral reefs in the Dominican Republic and serves as an inspiration to ocean lovers and communities who depend on coral reefs.

About the CORAL Conservation Prize

CORAL supporters and marine conservation advocates nominate an individual(s) (not themselves) within the coral reef conservation community for the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) Conservation Prize. This special award provides a unique opportunity to recognize coral reef conservation leaders from around the world, support outstanding local coral reef conservation efforts, provide a platform to highlight coral reefs within local, national and international media and provide an incentive for continued work in all coral regions of the world.

The CORAL Conservation Prize committee selects one conservation leader from the submitted nominations a cash prize of $20,000, apportioned between the winner and the group that he or she represents if any. This individual will be CORAL’s guest of honor a celebratory ceremony where they can share stories and key learnings about their successful work to save coral reefs.

Nomination Criteria:
  • Must be an individual (or a leader in a local group) who is successfully working to advance coral reef conservation at a local or regional scale with specific milestones and successes
  • Display leadership that has resulted in significant positive environmental change, either through a recent achievement or a long career, that can be articulated by the nominator
  • Able to travel to the U.S. and to communicate his or her coral conservation work to a diverse audience
  • Effectively communicate how award funds will be spent