Marine Conservation Projects
Research, Conservation and Education
research, conservation & education.
At the Marine Conservation & Education Center, our main goals are research, conservation and education. To do so, we’ve created various projects that have been carried out for the past 4 years and have already had impactful results.
When joining the MCEC, participating in one of our activities, or recommending us to your family and friends, you directly support our conservation and education projects.
Learn more about our most important projects below!
Coral 3D models – The Crystal Floor
It is known that what lies below reveals what lies ahead. Coral reefs are essential to a healthy marine ecosystem, therefore observing them informs us about the future of our planet. Innoceana creates 3D Models of the coral reefs in order to observe species, coral coverage, and disease. These models are georeferenced so the corals can be tracked over time in order to gain a better understanding of the health of the ecosystem. These 3D models provide visual support to educate and raise awareness to the local community, scientists, and politicians alike. It is our hope that by showing the condition of the coral reefs in such a visual way, it will lead to understanding and support that will result in saving this crucial ecosystem.
Watch our video to learn more:
Marine Invertebrates Inventory – INMOLO
Marine invertebrates (any marine animal lacking a backbone) play many key ecological roles in the marine environment. Invertebrates are the basis of most food chains, assist in the reproductive and nutrient cycles of many aquatic plants, and outweigh all the fish in the sea by both species and mass! Understanding the health and abundance of a handful of indicator marine invertebrates can be used to assess overall habitat quality. With INMOLO, we have created an online database and wrote 2 books to raise awareness on the importance of these marine invertebrates. Sadly, they are becoming increasingly endangered due to the decline of coral reefs and the effects of overfishing.
Watch our video to learn more:
Entangled in Costa Rica – documentary
In July of 2019, three Innoceana team members, plus others from the community, helped save a Humpback Whale and her young calf who were entangled in over 3 miles of fishing line. After the rescue, Innoceana wanted to show the world what they saw, so they collaborated with the Vegan Pirates to create a short documentary showing every detail of the heartbreaking and awe-inspiring event that occurred. The goal of creating this documentary and campaign is to raise awareness about the everyday effects unsustainable fishing practices are having on marine life around the world.
So far, we have won 3 awards for best short documentary around the world, and have been screened in over 12 international film festivals.
Innotales – Innovative audio-visual books
This project focuses on interactive books for children and adults, whose material comes directly from the content Innoceana gathered during their monitoring programs around the world to assess the health of the marine ecosystems. In order to make an impact on our Ocean’s health, the general public must first be aware of the issue. These interactive books are designed to educate young children and spark an interest in the marine environment, which they will carry with them into adulthood.
Innoceana is dedicated to creating a space for local school children to come and learn about marine conservation. This is an incredibly important project because the children of today are our hope for tomorrow. We believe marine science should be universally taught instead of being a privilege. At our Marine Conservation and Education Center we will show children the wonders of the marine world by using tools like virtual reality headsets, so they can join us on a conservation dive, involving them in beach cleanups and exposing them to audio-visual books. We hope this exposure sparks a curiosity and love for the ocean.
Corals only cover 0.2% of the Earth’s surface, yet they are home to 25% of marine life, making them essential for the wellbeing of not only wildlife but also humans. In the past 30 years, over 50% of the world’s coral reefs have died. By teaming up with local NGOs for a Coral Restoration Project, Innoceana is dedicated to being part of the solution. The past 2 years have been spent studying and monitoring the Marino Ballena National Park to evaluate the best restoration strategy. We have now started the active restoration plan: collecting fragments of Super Corals, growing them in our lab, moving them to nurseries in the Ocean, and finally transplanting the coral onto a reef structure. It is our hope that this will lead to the regrowth of healthy coral reefs in this area, where we have already lost over 80% of our reef.
Water Quality Studies
As the great Sylvia Earle says, “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” The ocean is one being, boundaryless, and interconnected. Therefore, local water quality can have a ripple effect that impacts coasts on the other side of the world. Our Water Quality Elements Project enables and educates the public about the low-cost materials and easy methods used to test water quality. With such broad accessibility, our collaborators can generate data from all over the world, without team members being present. This allows us to gain a better understanding and ultimately protect the Ocean more easily. During the past 4 years, we have created an international database filled with essential data of water quality from all over the world.
Turtles are an essential part of the marine ecosystem and food chain, as they can be herbivorous, omnivorous and carnivorous. Therefore, if they disappear, the impact on the environment will be catastrophic. In an attempt to protect these endangered animals, Innoceana created the Turtle ID project. This project uses photo-identification to identify each turtle and better understand their movement patterns, allowing for the implementation of more effective conservation measures.