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
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,
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
www.aquariumcouncil.org . . . 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.
. . . 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.
. . . REEF, another survey organization like
. . . Reef conservation is among the many environmental
issues tackled by this activist oriented group.
. . . Jean-Michel Cousteau’s brainchild,
Ocean Futures Society, produced Cities Under
the Sea: Coral Reefs CD Rom, film Rainforests
the Sea and other educational media.
. . . Environmental Protection Agency website
all about global warming, it’s effects,
recommended actions, etc.
. . . 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, an internet information service
designed to increase the understanding of coral
reef ecosystems world wide.
. . . The United Nations Environment Programme
World Conservation Monitoring Centre provides
information for policy and action to conserve
the living world.
. . . 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.
. . . Coral-list server, a clearinghouse for
internet forum discussions of coral reef topics
including scientists and organizations all over
. . . National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
Coral Reef Online, a wealth of information regarding
. . . International Coral Reef Action Network,
set up by UNEP to halt and reverse the decline
of the health of the world 's coral reefs.
. . . Introduction to Global Change, class lecture
notes on reef ecosystem and global climate change.
. . . United States Coral Reef Task Force, initiated
by President Clinton in 1998, to lead the U.S.
response to the global reef crisis.
. . . The Global Coral Reef Alliance, a small,
organization founded in 1990 and dedicated to
growing, protecting and managing coral reefs.
. . .Environmental Defense newsletter regarding
wide range of environmental issues, including
reef related ones.
... Learn more about coral reef habitat and
ways you can help preserve them on this website
from the National Wildlife Federation.