Juan Sánchez

Clips and excerpts from interviews with leaders, staff, scientists and student volunteers which provide a window into the motivation, energy and mission of SAM and the wider marine restoration community.

“…we definitely learned a lot from Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma. So we will be as resilient as we want the reefs to be…and we will rebuild what we lost and build it stronger”

Alex Mercado 


“…we expect with climate change..a greater intensity and frequency of storms. The first defense barrier against the waves…[are] coral reefs. [The] reefs…need active restoration to [be able to] recover [their] ecological and protective functions.”

Juan (“Roger”) 

Guzmán Rodríguez

“…if you look at us as individuals you can see that we are researching different things…but as a group we are working… to get this [coral] reef as close to pristine as we can get…”

Neidibel Martínez

“Despite all the effort we are making with SAM, there’s still a lot to do…what we can do to help the cause starts from the bottom: trying to live sustainably…we can give a grain of sand in one way or another”

Ileana Calderón

“…to create these corals for restoration we actually use fragments of coral and we hang them on what we call ‘trees’ - pvc trees… ”

Jeremy Velazquez

“…it is extremely important to have a healthy coral reef…if we didn’t have reefs…the entire social and ecological community…will be affected…”

Paola Santiago Padua

“…it’s not only what people see on tv…it is more than that…the coral reefs are a source of ecotourism, [and part of] the economy and our cultural heritage.”

Dr. Juliet Wong

“…in the early 1980’s there was a massive die off event of almost 95% or more of all of the populations of these sea urchins throughout the entire Caribbean… ”

Dr. Kelcie Chiquillo

“…We lose about 100 hectares of sea grasses every day. We lose them to climate change. We lose them to anthropogenic impacts… Sea grasses, they can filter bacteria, but if you over overnutrify the water, you’re going to cloud them”

Erick Velez Ortiz

“…If in the Caribbean we can find one coral like this - then, one person could dedicate themselves to start growing this species of coral to again restore it to the shores of Culebra.”