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Support the Kerzner Marine Foundation projects or mail your check or money order to:

Kerzner Marine Foundation
1000 South Pine Island Road
Suite 800
Plantation, FL 33324-3907

Program Focus

Kerzner Marine Foundation funds programs that address the immediate conservation issues facing coral reefs, marine protected areas, and cetaceans. Following is an overview of issues faced in each of these areas as well as conservation and research approaches that KMF funds.

1) Coral Reefs
Problem Statement: Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse marine ecosystem. Unfortunately it is estimated that more than 60% of reefs are jeopardized due to human impacts including overfishing and pollution. A recent report released by the World Resources Institute has found that in the Caribbean alone, two thirds of coral reefs are threatened and one third are vulnerable to coastal development. Poor management practices make coral reef habitats even more susceptible to human influence. In addition, many local communities living adjacent to reefs have limited access to economic opportunities which leads to their increasing reliance on coral reef resources and further reef degradation. To reduce pressure on coral reefs, local communities must have access to more short- and long-term economic alternatives. If local communities have food security and their basic needs are met, they are much more likely to be receptive to conservation efforts.

Potential Conservation Activities

  • Addressing and managing human-caused threats to coral reef viability including sediment runoff, overfishing, coastal development, tourism, pollution, cruise ship waste, sewage discharge, and destructive fishing practices
  • Employing multiple strategies to manage coral reef resources
  • Monitoring water quality
  • Building local capacity to manage coral reef ecosystems
  • Facilitating the inclusion of all stakeholders in the development of management plans

Potential Research Activities

  • Studying the effects of coral bleaching
  • Documenting the spread of coral diseases
  • Mapping impacts
  • Identifying and protecting spawning aggregations
  • Improving habitat quality in degraded areas

2) Marine Protected Areas
Problem Statement: Population explosion and the resulting unrelenting demand for more natural resources is leading to the unprecedented loss of biodiversity, the disappearance and fragmentation of habitat, an increase in invasive species, and climate change. All of these threats are placing increasing burdens on our remaining wild areas as well as unprecedented stress on areas already “preserved.” Creating, implementing, and managing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is one strategy that can be used in concert with other conservation practices to protect marine ecosystems.

Potential Conservation Activities

  • Promoting the creation of a network of marine protected areas
  • Establishing marine protected areas
  • Developing MPA management plans
  • Creating MPA zoning strategies
  • Identifying and addressing impacts of coastal land use on adjacent waters
  • Building the capacity for marine ecosystem management
  • Ensuring MPA sustainability
  • Facilitating stakeholder involvement in MPAs

Potential Research Activities

  • Creating and documenting the effects of no-take zones
  • Prioritizing areas to receive protection
  • Monitoring and evaluating resource management success

3) Cetaceans
Problem Statement: Despite years of research and conservation work, relatively little is known about the more than 80 species of cetaceans due to difficulty in studying them in the wild. Yet like all other marine species they are affected by a multitude of threats including entanglement in fishing gear, pollution, habitat destruction, collisions with ships, and overfishing. Some species are nearing extinction such as the baiji, North Atlantic right whale, and the vaquita. And in some areas, local populations of some species are threatened or have entirely disappeared. Basic research still needs to be conducted and political, social, and economical factors that affect cetaceans must be continually analyzed and addressed.

Potential Conservation Activities

  • Identifying areas of habitat destruction
  • Creating marine protected areas
  • Studying the effects of overfishing on populations
  • Establishing collaborative conservation plans

Potential Research Activities

  • Assessing population sizes
  • Monitoring health hazards
  • Establishing accurate take levels
  • Determining range and migration patterns
  • Identifying feeding patterns

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