Even if you do not live next to a coral reef, there are many things that you can do to help conserve the reef now and for future generations.
Reducing pollution such as carbon dioxide by cycling and walking more or using energy efficient light bulbs will help to reduce the ocean warming and acidification that affects coral reefs.
Tourism can damage the reef through boat anchors and divers hitting and damaging the coral. If you visit the reef, make sure you go with a responsible operator.
Reducing the number of fish on the reef disrupts the balance of life and can cause the reef to become overrun with algae. Look out for labels that show your fish has been caught sustainably.
Even if you do not live near the reef, many governments have control over national, regional or global marine policies. Ask your local politicians what they are doing to protect the coral reef.
Coral reefs are a natural treasure, so there’s no need to buy gifts made from coral, from jewelry to other souvenirs. The best place for coral is in the ocean.
Whether it’s shorter showers or less water to flush the toilet, using water responsibly, wherever you are, means that less waste water reaches the oceans and the reef.
Plastic waste can harm the coral reef. Animals, such as turtles can get trapped in larger plastics and smaller particles are eaten by seabirds to plankton clogging their guts.
As the XL Catlin Seaview Survey shows, researching the reef and human impacts both positive and negative informs how we can conserve the reef for future generations.
You do not need to volunteer directly on the reef, although there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Think about joining in a local beach clean or other efforts to look after the environment.
The coral reef is amazing and faces an uncertain future. You can help spread the word online and offline, telling others about the fantastic creatures that live there, the threats the reef faces and what we can all do to help.