Dr. Ruben Torres, Caribbean Regional Coordinator for Reef Check and founder and President of Reef Check Dominican Republic, has been awarded the 2017 Conservation Prize by the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). "The CORAL Conservation Prize is a unique opportunity to recognize leaders in coral reef conservation who embody CORAL's mission to unite communities to save coral reefs," said Dr. Michael Webster, Executive Director of CORAL. "This year, we celebrate Dr. Ruben Torres, for his passion, commitment to partnerships, and proven success protecting and saving coral reefs in the Dominican Republic."
Over the past 20 years Dr. Torres has elevated coral reef awareness and conservation efforts in the Dominican Republic through his partnerships with local fishermen, hotels, students, and volunteers. He is also a member of the International Coral Reef Initiative Lionfish Committee as well as the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and a mentor for the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Managers Network of the United Nations Environment Program. In 2017, RC DR had a major achievement when the Minister of Environment turned over management of La Caleta Marine Park to Reef Check. This success shows the level of trust the government has in Reef Check DR to be able to successfully implement all aspects of the park management.
According to CORAL, the Conservation Prize "provides a unique opportunity to recognize coral reef conservation leaders from around the world, support outstanding local coral reef conservation efforts, provide a platform to highlight coral reefs within local, national and international media, and provide an incentive for continued work in all coral regions of the world." Reef Check is proud to be affiliated with such a deserving winner of this prestigious prize.