Dr Owen Day lives with his family near Bridport but his mind and his cutting-edge science is spent protecting some of the most beautiful important and threatened coral reefs in the world.
Coastal communities in the Caribbean rely heavily on coral reefs for their livelihoods, food and coastal protection. In the last five decades, coral reefs worldwide have been heavily impacted by over-fishing, diseases, hurricanes and mass bleaching, with the latter three projected to increase with climate change. Active coral restoration—where resilient genotypes are identified, propagated in nurseries and then out-planted to assist natural recovery, is increasingly recognised as a useful tool in reef conservation and an important climate change adaptation strategy. Coral restoration is also an effective way of engaging and empowering local communities with the management of their coastal environment. While governments, communities and private sector companies are interested in supporting coral restoration efforts, the framework, funding and technical resources are often lacking. This talk will describe the work done by CLEAR and partners since 2016 to establish the largest community-based coral restoration network in the Eastern Caribbean.
Dr Owen Day is a marine biologist with over 25 years’ experience working in the Caribbean with a wide range of partners, including UNEP, World Bank, USAID, UKAID, GIZ, CDB, CBF and several private foundations. Much of his work has involved creating partnerships between the private sector, governments and local communities to improve the management and resilience of coastal ecosystems and the sustainability of livelihoods. He is the Executive Director of CLEAR Caribbean, a not-for-profit company that operates the largest coral restoration programmes in the Eastern Caribbean with nurseries in St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Oxford University in 1988, and his masters and doctorate in marine biology from the University of Wales in 1991 and 1996 respectively.
The HOP talks are an initiative started by Philip Howse OBE (Professor Emeritus, University of Southampton) with Professor Sir Ghillean Prance FRS VMH CBE (former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) George Monbiot, Clive Farrell, Dr George McGavin and the late James Lovelock CBE. The project aims to inspire and inform individuals, families and local communities with tangible actions to help combat the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, and to raise money for charities working in these areas. Each month the charity is chosen by the speaker.
Community-based Coral Restoration in the Eastern Caribbean by Dr Owen Day is on Wednesday 25 May at 7pm at Sladers Yard in West Bay. Doors 6pm hot snacks and bar available. Tickets: £10 (concessions and under 21s £5). All ticket proceeds to The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. Call 01308 459511 to reserve tickets.