Recent accomplishments from a busy first two months with Georgia Aquarium!

It is hard to believe that two months have passed since I started working at Georgia Aquarium! As the week kicks off, I wanted to share a couple of recent accomplishments.

After several months of planning, invitations are ready for the workshop “Market Approaches to Coral Reef Restoration: Investigating the Viability” hosted by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and Georgia Aquarium in February 2012. I will be serving as a co-director and a discussion leader for the workshop which will bring together professionals from the conservation, business, scientific, and government communities to discuss whether market-based conservation programs are possible for Florida’s coral reefs.

The below photos are from meetings last week with Barrett Walker of the Alex C. Walker Foundation and Dr. Andrew Smith of The Nature Conservancy. Dr. Smith visited Georgia Aquarium to give the Alex C. Walker Foundation a presentation about the recently completed study “Market Forces and Nearshore Fisheries Management in Micronesia” and to talk with me about market-based approaches to reef restoration based on his experiences in Micronesia. Study findings can be found at

I am pleased to report that my coral restoration project in the Florida Keys now has “official” coverage on Georgia Aquarium’s Research & Conservation website! Check it out at

The next few days will be busy with project work. I am heading to Tavernier and Key West on Monday for meetings with the Coral Restoration Foundation, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, and one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s coral resource manager experts. During the trip, I will be snorkeling on a critical coral nursery in Key West! Follow me on Twitter @BrettWHowell for live updates and look for a blog post about the trip late next week.