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Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse communities on the planet. And yet none is more in danger of perishing in our lifetimes. Threats such as over-fishing, coastal development and rising sea temperatures caused by global warming are decimating sensitive corals and shredding the web of life they support. According to the United Nations’ Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, 10% of the world’s reefs have died in the past 4 years, and nearly a quarter are sick and suffering. More than half of the remaining reefs are seriously threatened, and scientists estimate that if today’s trends continue, corals may vanish entirely within the next 40 years.

Fortunately, there is a growing global effort by concerned individuals, non-profit organizations, and some governments dedicated to reversing this decline and to finding new and sustainable solutions for managing the world’s coral reefs. For those interested in learning more about how to support coral reef conservation efforts, the following list offers links to organizations that are working hard to ensure that coral reefs remain a vital ecosystem for generations to come. Your support will help them carry on with their important work and help preserve the natural balance of our marine ecosystems.

Reef Check

One group working to protect coral reef ecosystems around the world is MacGillivray Freeman Film’s education partner Reef Check. An international non-profit organization, Reef Check has volunteers all over the world working with business sectors such as tourism, diving, surfing and the marine aquarium trade, to develop mutually beneficial solutions that restore and maintain coral reef health, including the creation of self-funding Marine Protected Areas. To find out more or to get involved, visit www.reefcheck.org.

Other Organizations and Resources

Related Websites

You can join the fight to save coral reef ecosystems by supporting the Project AWARE Foundation's Protect the Living Reef campaign. The Project AWARE Foundation, established by PADI, is the dive industry's leading non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and preserving our aquatic resources. For more information on what you can do to save coral reefs, go to www.padi.com/scuba/about-padi/padi-partners/project-aware/default.aspx

. . . Marine Aquarium Council, a regulatory group whose mission is to conserve coral reefs and other marine ecosystems by creating standards and certification for those engaged in the collection and care of ornamental marine life from reef to aquarium.

www.coral.org . . . The Coral Reef Alliance, a member-supported, non-profit organization, dedicated to keeping coral reefs alive around the world, offers news and a comprehensive listing of Non-government organizations (NGO’s) involved in global reef conservation worldwide.

www.reef.org . . . REEF, another survey organization like Reef Check

www.greenpeace.org . . . Reef conservation is among the many environmental issues tackled by this activist oriented group.

www.oceanfutures.org . . . Jean-Michel Cousteau’s brainchild, Ocean Futures Society, produced Cities Under the Sea: Coral Reefs CD Rom, film Rainforests of the Sea and other educational media.

www.epa.gov/globalwarming . . . Environmental Protection Agency website all about global warming, it’s effects, recommended actions, etc.

www.icriforum.org . . . International Coral Reef Initiative, a partnership among nations and organisations seeking to implement international conventions and agreements for the benefit of coral reefs and related ecosystems, established in order to stop and reverse the global degradation of coral reefs and related ecosystems.

reefnet.ca. . . Reefnet, an internet information service designed to increase the understanding of coral reef ecosystems world wide.

www.unep-wcmc.org . . . The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre provides information for policy and action to conserve the living world.

www.reefbase.org . . . Reefbase, a global database on coral reefs initiated by the Manila-based International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), includes excellent data on reefs, maps atlases of world reef and mangrove systems, monitoring, surveys, lists of natural and anthropogenic stresses to coral reefs, etc.

http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list/ . . . Coral-list server, a clearinghouse for internet forum discussions of coral reef topics including scientists and organizations all over the world.

www.coralreef.noaa.gov . . . National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Online, a wealth of information regarding coral reefs.

www.icran.org . . . International Coral Reef Action Network, set up by UNEP to halt and reverse the decline of the health of the world 's coral reefs.

www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/index.html . . . Introduction to Global Change, class lecture notes on reef ecosystem and global climate change.

http://coralreef.gov . . . United States Coral Reef Task Force, initiated by President Clinton in 1998, to lead the U.S. response to the global reef crisis.

www.globalcoral.org . . . The Global Coral Reef Alliance, a small, organization founded in 1990 and dedicated to growing, protecting and managing coral reefs.

www.environmentaldefense.org . . .Environmental Defense newsletter regarding wide range of environmental issues, including reef related ones.

http://www.nwf.org/productions/coralreef/ ... Learn more about coral reef habitat and ways you can help preserve them on this website from the National Wildlife Federation.

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