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The success and financial sustainability of  CMES largely relies on the strength of local and federal partnerships that have been established since 1999. CMES has received considerable grant funding with particular emphasis on the influence of anthropogenic activities on the functioning of coral reef systems, the importance of marine protected areas in protecting deep coral reef habitats and rebuilding fish stocks, and the spatial and temporal dynamics of grouper and snapper spawning aggregations. CMES formal partnerships include formal agreements with local and federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations and universities. 

These partnerships have allowed CMES to extend well beyond its existing capabilities and make significant accomplishments such as hosting the 33rd scientific conference for the AMLC (Association for Marine Labs of the Caribbean) in St. Thomas in June 2007. Significant funding was also secured through the National Science Foundation's VI-EPSCoR program which provided support for infrastructure improvements to facilitate research in Biocomplexity in Caribbean Coral Reefs and helped UVI establish a master's in Marine and Environmental Science (MMES) graduate program.