People’s lives are intertwined with the health of oceans and coral reefs.

  1. Protecting corals is good for people and other special places.
    • Coral reefs protect coastal areas from waves
    • About 197 million people live in areas where coral reefs offer protection from waves battering the coast
    • Costs for coral reef restoration are less than building protective sea walls
    • Healthy coral reefs can regenerate themselves over time.
  2. Healthy reef ecosystems provide protein for hundreds of millions of people

Coral reefs are threatened by human activity in three main ways.

  1. Climate Change & Ocean Acidification
  2. Plastics
  3. Pollution
    1. Siltation
    2. Eutrophication

Individual action is needed and possible from everybody, not only those who live close to the reefs.

  1. Many individuals & organizations are already working hard to protect coral reefs.
  2. Plastics
  3. Siltation and Nutrient Pollution
  4. Global Warming and Ocean Acidification

Restoration of coral reefs is possible by working collaboratively.

  1. Traditional knowledge and practices can help protect coral reef ecosystems
  2. "Traditional community-run marine reserves and fisheries can play a big role in helping to restore and maintain fish numbers in stressed developing nations' coral reef fisheries."
  3. Marine reserve areas can help
  1. Cultivating corals and reintroducing them can help
  2. Some corals defy the odds. We can learn from them.
  3. Two creative approaches that could help protect reefs
  4. Cultivating heat-resistent corals
  5. Manage for reef health
  1. Coral reefs can recover when given a break from stressors
  2. "responses to elevated pCO2 are species-specific and that the stability and flexibility of microbial partnerships may have an important role in shaping and contributing to the fitness and success of some hosts"
  3. CO2 Seeps - natural experiments
  4. CO2 Seeps - natural experiments

Coral reefs are vital ecosystems and they represent a rich contribution to the planet’s biodiversity.

Corals are amazing!

  1. Provide habitat for diverse species
  2. Protect coastal areas from storm surge and large waves
  3. Coral reefs can be the source of new materials and chemicals for human medicine

Additional General Resources

  1. National Geographic
  2. National Geographic video "Corals 101"
  3. The International Society for Reef Studies
  4. GRID-Arendal, based in Norway
  5. Chasing Coral
  6. Coral reefs are vulnerable to climate change and global warming. But until global greenhouse gas levels actually start falling, it will be difficult to protect coral reefs over the longer term. ’Drawdown’ is the point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere starts to decline on a year-to-year basis. TSL has developed an online game called the ‘Drawdown Challenge’, working in partnership with Project Drawdown, which identified 100 climate change solutions and ranked them based on their potential to reduce greenhouse gases. Due to the enormous scale of the challenge, all of the solutions should be implemented as no single solution will be enough to save our precious coral reefs. Can you guess which solutions will have the most impact?

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