21 Apr How You Can Protect Coral Reefs on Earth Day
It’s April—a month dedicated to celebrating the Earth and taking actions to keep it healthy. On April 22, more than one billion people will mobilize and advocate to protect our planet’s beautiful resources, animals, and ecosystems. At CORAL, we are committed to saving one of the most important ocean environments: coral reefs.
Coral reefs are both animals and ecosystems, and they add so much value to our planet. They act as home to more than a million marine species, give protection to coastal areas, and support countless people with food and income.
But coral reefs are in trouble. In fact, we’ve lost at least 14 percent of the world’s reefs in the last decade alone. That’s why we are fighting so hard to reduce environmental threats and keep coral reefs healthy. On April 22, you can stand with our alliance by spreading the word about coral reef conservation and taking actions that protect these valuable ecosystems.
Here are six simple ways you can protect coral reefs on Earth Day
1. Learn About the Threats Coral Reefs are Facing
It’s hard to protect coral reefs if you aren’t sure what’s threatening them. Spend your Earth Day learning about the biggest threats to coral reefs and what can be done to reduce this stress.
At CORAL, we focus on minimizing overfishing and water pollution—two major problems that can ultimately devastate a reef. Without healthy fish populations, algae can take over an ocean environment and make it harder for coral reefs to grow. And if the water is polluted with waste, marine debris, or runoff sediment, it spreads harmful chemicals and can spur the growth of algae. Keep reading to learn more about threats to coral reefs and how you can help protect them.
2. Become a Reef-Safe Traveler
Planning a summer vacation? Make your plans with the environment in mind! There are plenty of easy ways to make your trip more eco-friendly, like committing to “leave no trace” on the beach or reducing your use of plastic and single-use materials. You can also make a conscious choice to stay at sustainable lodging and support local businesses when visiting a location.
Check out our Reef-Safe Travel Guide for more tips on how to protect coral reefs during your next vacation.
3. Reduce Your CO2 Emissions
Climate change might be one of the biggest existential threats the world is facing—and may determine the fate of our reefs if we don’t make a change.
Ocean waters are warming, which increases the likelihood of coral bleaching events. Research shows that coral reefs can adapt to some rising temperatures, but only if we slow down our CO2 emissions.
There are simple things you can do to reduce your emissions—including driving less, reducing your meat consumption, buying local, recycling, using less energy at home, and more. And most importantly, you can advocate and push for governments and corporations to take bigger steps to reduce worldwide emissions.
4. Use Mineral Sunscreen
Did you know an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is deposited into the ocean annually? Worst of all, much of that sunscreen brings harmful chemicals that affect corals’ reproductive cycle, damage DNA, and worsen the effects of coral bleaching.
Keep reefs healthy by using mineral sunscreen with non-nano Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient. And don’t just use it at the beach—sunscreen can easily spread through our waterways and enter our oceans, even if you’re far from the water.
To learn more, check out our Sunscreen 101 Guide here.
5. Spread the Word About Coral Conservation
If we are going to make a real change, the message needs to be widespread. Use Earth Day as an opportunity to teach somebody else why they should care about saving coral reefs.
6. Support Programs that Keep Coral Reefs Healthy
Lastly, you can save coral reefs by directly supporting programs that keep them healthy and thriving. By making a donation to CORAL, you will minimize overfishing, reduce ocean pollution, invest in cutting-edge science and research, and support coastal communities with the skills and resources needed to protect their reefs.
Best of all, from now until April 22, you can double your impact with our special Earth Day match: thanks to our partners at Gili Sports, all donations up to $15,000 will be matched 1:1. Give today and help protect coral reefs on Earth Day.