The Kinship Fellows webinar series, a free and public offering of expertise in market-based conservation, will feature Fernando Bretos in A Cuban Conservation Challenge on March 22 at 1:00 PM Central. Register here to attend the webinar.
Bretos, a thought leader on the Caribbean marine conservation, directs the Cuba Marine Research and Conservation Program. His webinar will address the impact of conservation since President Obama’s 2014 reengagement with Cuba.
Bretos is the director of the Trinational Initiative for Marine Science and Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean initiated in 2007. The program restores coastal and marine resources shared by Cuba, Mexico, and the United States.
Cuba and the U.S. share a vast marine environment that is separated by just 90 miles of sea. Bretos has been working since 1998 to contribute joint marine resources shared by both countries. The U.S ultimately depends on Cuban biodiversity for coastal habitats stretching from south Texas to Massachusetts.
Bretos is also the Director of MuVE at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, FL. This volunteer-based habitat restoration project encourages Floridian residents to restore the coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, dunes, and hardwood forests. As the Curator of Ecology, he is currently helping design marine science exhibits for a new museum and aquarium that will be available in 2016.
Throughout his career, Bretos has collaborated on major marine biodiversity expeditions, coral reef health studies, and marine wildlife conservation programs.
Bretos is a 2011 Kinship Conservation Fellow and 2010 Audubon Together Green Fellow. He holds a master’s degree in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College. Kinship Conservation Fellows is an environmental leadership program emphasizing market-based solutions to environmental problems.
In October of last year, Cuba and the US began to collaborate on science, outreach and education regarding ‘sister’ marine protected areas, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
Future events to look out for include the Cuban environment conference in July 2017. Bretos will appear in New York City on May 3rd to give a lecture for the Secret Science Club North: Under the Sea with Marine Biologist Fernando Bretos. Also Hokulea, a replica seafaring Polynesian vessel, will be traveling internationally to spread the word about ocean health. She will be stopping in Havana later this month.