Weekly Publishes Release on Steneck’s Coral Reef Address in Dominican Republic

The Weekly published a University of Maine news release about University of Maine marine scientist Bob Steneck delivering a coral reef address on World Oceans Day in the Dominican Republic. Steneck encouraged Dominican Republic officials and stakeholders to preserve and improve coral reefs — what he calls the tropical rainforests of the sea — in his keynote address in Santo Domingo. “They contain 25 percent of all species on Earth. However, they are also among the world’s most endangered ecosystems and, as such, the biodiversity, breakwater function, food resources and ecotourism value they provide for people are all at risk,” Steneck said. He encouraged the Dominican Republic government and nongovernment organizations to preserve reefs that are healthy and continue efforts to improve those that are degraded. His recommendations included banning the harvesting of parrotfish and investing in enforcement. About 400 people attended Steneck’s keynote at the conference, which was sponsored by Propagas Foundation.