Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
Sheila Johnson Brutsch Charitable Trust
The queen conch is a valuable fisheries species and heritage icon throughout the Florida and Caribbean region. Unfortunately, the conch have been over-fished in many countries, and they are now listed as a threatened fishery on Appendix II for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. As a response to this decline, The Conch Heritage Network was established in 2001. We are headquartered at Harbor Branch and are the leading organization for the dissemination of queen conch information. Our mission is to advance conservation and wise management of the queen conch through education, research, and restoration. Various research and academic organizations throughout the Caribbean region have joined the network to share their expertise with each other and with the public. These scientists have years of experience in queen conch husbandry, stock enhancement practices, environmental education, and marine conservation, and are dedicated to the conservation of the queen conch. The CHN has developed a "Conch in the Classroom" curriculum available in English and Spanish for download from the website. The curriculum includes eight lesson plans, five modules, a virtual dissection, games, and activities. In addition, we have produced a DVD entitled “A Conch’s Life Story” which documents the history, heritage, and biology of the queen conch, and follows the lesson plans. Researchers at the CHN regularly participate in public outreach programs and lectures, and mentor science fair and teacher classroom projects. Our informative website is available in English and Spanish and serves as the primary outreach tool to raise awareness about the queen conch and its environment in Florida and throughout the Caribbean region.