Reef Resilience Network Accelerating Learning & Action to Improve Reef Management

The Reef Resilience Network connects marine managers and practitioners with peers, global experts, tools, and knowledge to innovate and promote solutions for improved management and conservation of coral reefs around the world.

To achieve this, we:

  • Synthesize and share the latest science and management strategies to keep busy managers in-the-know
  • Connect managers and experts to share resources and lessons learned, and inspire greater collaboration
  • Provide training, technical assistance, and seed funding to catalyze conservation action on-the-ground and in-the-water
We've provided in-person and online training to managers in 75% of the 103 countries and territories with coral reefs increasing effective management of 21 million reef hectares.


Managers need training and support to incorporate resilience concepts into their management strategies and regulatory policies, and to share knowledge and expertise within and across regions.

Support from the Network results in real conservation action for reefs through the more than 25,500 trained managers who have developed and implemented coral bleaching and disease response plans; used reef monitoring protocols to inform resilience-based management; applied tools for community-based climate adaptation; designed and managed marine protected areas; and more.

"With new skills and funding from the Reef Resilience Network, I hosted a workshop bringing together 35 representatives from 7 villages who depend on park resources to discuss challenges facing our park and ideas to address these challenges. Now village representatives join park staff in the patrol boat to help us monitor and enforce. Now they feel like they are a part of the park and the park helps provide jobs." –Haji Mahingika, Senior Marine Warden, Mafia Island Marine Park (above right)

Manager Spotlight: Paco Lopez, Puerto Rico

Meet Network manager and artist Paco Lopez (far left). With training, funding, and mentorship from the Network, Paco developed a cooking oil recycling program to protect Puerto Rico’s reefs from pipe back-ups and damaging wastewater spills. Paco created an illustrated manual and hosted site visits to persuade residents near the Isla Verde Marine Reserve to properly dispose of cooking oil, keeping wastewater off the Reserve's 94 hectares of reefs. Due to the success of the program, Paco is expanding it to two other municipalities in the San Juan region.

“Paco's project has been extremely successful. With training and a small amount of funding, he was able to start a project that has a huge impact on the nearby coral reef.”

–Aurora Justiniano, Puerto Rico Coral Reef Conservation and Coastal Zone Management Liaison, NOAA

Manager Spotlight: Whitney Hoot, Guam

With training and support from the Network, Whitney Hoot coordinated the development of a comprehensive reef resilience strategy for Guam and created outreach materials to build support for the plan with government officials. In June 2019, the Government of Guam formally adopted the Guam Reef Resilience Strategy (GRRS), calling for its immediate implementation. The GRRS is now being used to guide coral reef management and allocate funding for Guam’s 22,500 hectares of reef.

“When I started as a coral fellow, I knew I had to write a resilience strategy, so I took the Introduction to Reef Resilience course, then advanced resilience and communication courses. These training opportunities have been invaluable to my job and career. As managers, we’re often told to read the literature, but we don’t have time. What I really love about the Reef Resilience Network is that it effectively walks the line between being technical and accessible.”

–Whitney Hoot, Coral Reef Resilience Coordinator, Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans


To make sure busy resource managers have access to the latest science and management strategies—and are challenged and inspired by new ideas—our online toolkit places relevant and reliable information at their fingertips. Created and updated by global experts in coral reefs, fisheries, climate change, communication and more, the toolkit features:

  • More than 200 webpages and 4 comprehensive online courses synthesizing the latest science and strategies on reef management, conservation, and restoration
  • Easily searchable summaries of 150+ journal articles about reef resilience science
  • A database of case studies highlighting successful management strategies from 30+ countries and territories
  • Webinars (interactive and recorded) on key topics and innovative strategies


Managers and leading experts from around the world are brought together to share ideas, experiences, and expertise, and to inspire action. Connections are made both in-person and online through Network-hosted learning exchanges and interactive webinars on hot topics in marine resource management. We also host the Network Forum, an online member-only discussion forum where managers and practitioners have the opportunity to share ideas and resources, ask questions, and support each other.

"In many parts of the world marine managers lack access to traditional knowledge sources and have fewer opportunities to advance their skills in formal trainings. Having access to webinars and the Forum through the Network opens up a world of information for managers and links them to global marine experts. This type of knowledge and idea sharing is critical so that managers can arm themselves with new tools and insights to address pressing problems facing reefs."

–Jennifer O’Leary, Marine Program Coordinator, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Co-Director SMART Seas Network


To address key research and resource gaps and support the enabling environment for reef protection and restoration, the Network tackles science and policy priorities for reefs. Network scientists and partners have developed seminal papers and best practice manuals to guide restoration, resilience assessments, resilience-based management, strategic communication, and more. The Network team directly supports global policy efforts to protect and restore reefs through the Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Decade of Restoration, and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), and builds the capacity of reef managers to influence polices to better protect and conserve reefs.


The Network partners with other global leaders to accelerate the development and dissemination of urgently needed tools to address the most significant challenges to reefs today and to guide managers as they adopt and apply them. Key collaborations in 2020 include:

  • Developing an online training for managers to utilize the Allen Coral Atlas – the first-ever seamless global mosaic of high-resolution satellite imagery of the world’s coral reefs – with National Geographic Society and partners
  • Piloting holistic resilience-based management in five UNESCO World Heritage marine sites through the Resilient Reefs Initiative with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
  • Expanding the application of restoration best practices, globally through our work with the Coral Restoration Consortium, Australia's Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, and ICRI; in the Western Indian Ocean through a partnership with TNC Africa; and in U.S. coral jurisdictions with the All Islands Coral Reef Committee, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Toolkit: www.reefresilience.org

Email: resilience@tnc.org


Twitter @reefresilience@tnc.org