Who is saving the coral reefs?
Coral reefs are endangered worldwide and are threatened by stress and disease. Corals are also dying at an alarming rate. It wasn’t till about the 1970s that scientists began to notice the condition of the reefs and now there is a scramble to catch up – do necessary coral reef research, establish programs to save the corals, and do this on a worldwide basis.
There are numerous organizations that have been established to save the corals – both governmental and non-governmental (NGOs). Some of the more prominent organizations are
* Coral Reef Alliance
* Reef Relief
* Planetary Coral Reef Foundation
These NGOs are all highly active into working to save the corals, through research, information, school programs, and active expeditions to save the coral reefs.
Many colleges and universities are also involved in the education, research, and preservation and conservation of coral reefs.
Saving the coral reefs is an international endeavor and around the world communities, governments, NGOs are working to save the coral reefs. It may be too late. Many reefs have already died and many are in the process of dying.
The United States government organization that is responsible for the monitoring, restoring, and maintaining coral reef systems is the
* National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA lists 25 ways to help save the coral reefs – things that all people can do worldwide as individual citizens of planet earth. Here emphasis is placed on each individual to do all the things that one does to become more green – ecosystems in the ocean are not unlike the ecosystems on land – coral reef ecosystems are called the “rainforests of the sea.” Healthy coral reef ecosystems are teaming with many species of fish, sea creatures, and sea plants – some that have as yet to be discovered that may provide new chemicals and medicines.
The International Year of the Coral Reef (IYOR) was established in 1997. This was represented by 50 nations around the world to establish and raise awareness for the world’s coral reefs. Through this effort the International Coral Reef Initiative was started, consisting of partnerships of nations and organizations for the protection and sustainable use of coral reef resources worldwide.
The Coral Triangle Initiative funded by the World Bank Coral Reef Targeted Research program and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, according to an article entitled, Rules Proposed to Save the World’s Coral Reefs, has set forth rules for protection of reef creatures, reef habitats, and whole reefs.
The “catasrophic decline in the world’s coral reefs demands urgent responses…” according to 6 regional governments and the US and Australia (World Ocean Conference 2009).
Clearly there are many organizations and people around the world trying desperately to save the coral reefs, but it may be to late. Time is running out.
A good starting point for furthering your education in coral reef ecosystems is Coral Reefs in Crisis at http://www.pcrf.org/reefsincrisis.html
To read more about coral reefs and find out how you can help check out these websites:
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AheadoftheCurve/story?id=5527409&page=1ARCCentre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies. “Rules Proposed To Save The World’s Coral Reefs.” ScienceDaily 12 May 2009. 12 June 2009 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511101735.htm
Carnegie Institution. “Coral Reefs May Start Dissolving When Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Doubles.” ScienceDaily 10 March 2009. 12 June 2009 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309162125.htm.