Dr. Dirk Petersen, Founder and Executive Director of SECORE International

Dr. Dirk Petersen, Founder and Executive Director of SECORE International made a special visit to Nebraska to speak at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium followed by a tour of Diventures in Omaha. SECORE is a leading conservation organization for the restoration of coral reefs. They are a global network of scientists, public aquarium professionals and engineers implementing worldwide coral reef conservation through research, education, outreach and restoration.  

SECORE’s main focus is on larval propagation utilizing the sexual reproductive process. They are currently working with 12-16 different species of coral and are present in ten countries. And with the help of partners such as Diventures, they give coral reefs a fighting chance for the future. 


Dr. Dirk Petersen presenting at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

As the official Ocean Health Conservation and Education partner of the Omaha Zoo, Diventures supports the conservation and restoration efforts of SECORE. One of our values is “being positive advocates for the health of our oceans and waterways by creating awareness, providing education and supporting conservation.” We believe the research and work SECORE does is vital for the future of our reef systems. As Dr. Petersen stated, “The next ten years will decide the fate of coral reefs.” This issue is urgent and relies on organizations like SECORE to create and share technologies to sustainably restore coral reefs around the world. 

Along with supporting SECORE’s efforts, we have also added a new role to the Diventures team. Sabrina Severin is our new Ocean Health Education and Conservation Coordinator. She received her master’s degree in Marine Conservation from the University of Miami in 2021 and is passionate about educating others about the underwater world. This role will take on key partnerships with other like-minded organizations around the nation to spread awareness and education of our oceans and the life that inhabits it. Stay tuned for more programs to come for children and adults. 

So, why do coral reefs matter? 

We have all heard that our reefs are vanishing at a rapid rate, but why does it matter? Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Earth and are responsible for producing half of the Earth’s oxygen. They are home to thousands of marine species and offer amazing views for divers. Over one billion people rely on reefs for food, coastal protection and tourism. It would be an economic and environmental disaster, especially for developing countries, if the reefs were to disappear.  

SECORE is confident that a great restoration strategy along with education, outreach and conservation with worldwide partners is the key to a long and healthy life for our reefs.  

Learn more about SECORE International and their efforts and see how Diventures is making an impact in their communities. 

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