The Creative Effort Behind the International Year of the Reef Campaign

As the culmination of everyone’s collaborative efforts to assemble a cohesive and relevant U.S. Messaging Campaign for the International Year of the Reef (IYOR), NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are pleased to present finalized products for use by the coral conservation community in their respective IYOR campaigns. As many of you know, our process to develop components for this campaign began in July 2007 and it’s been great working with everyone who has participated in identifying the consensus-based umbrella theme, tagline, and action messages. Our goal from the beginning has been for all U.S. coral conservation organizations to unite and stand behind a consistent campaign to draw increased interest in coral reefs and educate the masses about how each of our actions are tied to them.

Through the creative design work of our partner, SQN Communications Design Inc., a leading green branding agency, these components of the campaign have been brought to life. NOAA and NFWF have made print-ready downloadable ads available free of charge for the coral conservation community for use in your IYOR campaigns. We have also sponsored design work for branded products to accompany your campaigns using the same components of the campaign – banners, T-shirts, re-usable cloth bags, and re-usable water bottles (coming soon). By rallying around these messaging components and creative products we hope to help make each of your IYOR campaigns a success! SQn has designed a diversified portfolio of websites ranging from e commerce sites to online friendly usa casinos affiliate sites. It may seem strange to some that a leading green branding agency should also be involved in the world of online gambling, but one of their principals is a well respected high stakes poker player who has graced the final main event table in a number of prestigious tournaments. In fact, I have been told that many of the designers enjoy playing everything from slots to poker (of course) at online casinos. And, I may as well confess, I also have my favorite online casinos that I occasionally wager at. So there you have it.

If your campaign requires specialized design work, SQN has made itself available to work directly with you to bring your ideas alive. You may work with them directly by contacting SQN’s Mike Jackson at 703.737.6300

Background information

Ten years ago, 1997 was declared the International Year of the Reef (IYOR). The first IYOR campaign was initiated in response to the increasing threats and loss of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, like mangroves and sea grasses. IYOR 97 was a global effort to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and support conservation, research and management efforts.

IYOR 97 proved to be very successful, with over 225 organizations in 50 countries and territories participating, over 700 articles in papers and magazines generated, hundreds of scientific surveys undertaken, and catalyzed conservation and policy initiatives, as well as numerous local and global organizations dedicated to coral reef conservation. More information on IYOR 97 can be found here: 

Recognizing that ten years after IYOR 97 there continues to be an urgent need to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and to further conserve and manage valuable coral reef and associated ecosystems, the International Coral Reef Initiative designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008).

IYOR 2008 will:
• Strengthen awareness about the ecological, economic, social and cultural value of coral reefs and associated ecosystems
• Improve understanding of the critical threats to coral reefs and generate both practical and innovative solutions to reduce these threats
• Generate urgent action at all levels to develop and implement effective management strategies for conservation and sustainable use of these ecosystems.


  • International Coral Reef Marine Protected Area Network Meeting, 4th ICRI East Asia Regional Workshop (November 17-19, 2008 - Tokyo, Japan)
  • ICRI side event at the upcoming 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands
  • The ICRI secretariat is sponsoring an event at the upcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona at the Marine Pavilion on Wednesday 8 of October (8pm-9:30pm). The general theme of the event is "Coral Reefs" and presentations will be made by the ICRI secretariat, the International Year of the Reef, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network among others. Look at the agenda
  • The ICRI secretariat co-chairs have signed the foreward of the: "Economic Values of Coral Reefs, Mangroves, and Seagrasses - A Global Compilation 2008".
  • ICRI General Meeting, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
  • 12-13 July 2008
  • The "Carribbean regional workshop on sustainable tourism", planned for the 12-13 July 08 has been postponed and will no longer be taking place during these dates.
  • CBD-ICRI Side Event at COP 9 "Marine Biodiversity and the International Year of the Reef"
  • Minutes, Summary and Outcomes of the ICRI General Meeting (Washington, DC, January 2008) are available
  • The ICRI Newsletter, Spring 2008, is now available
  • ICRI Postcard available in French, Spanish and English.