(aka) The Coral Reef Alliance
Oakland, CA 94612
Although they cover less than 0.1 percent of the earth’s surface, coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world. Today, coral reefs face multiple stressors at different scales. When global threats like warming waters combine with direct threats like overfishing and water pollution, it severely compromises the ability of corals to grow, reproduce and thrive. Scientists predict that all corals will be threatened by 2050, with 75 percent facing high to critical threat levels.
Despite discouraging projections, there is a reason for hope. There are many clear-cut actions that scientists and communities can take to help protect coral reef ecosystems. The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) works at multiple scales from local to global to address the threats facing reefs.
CORAL has been active in Honduras for over a decade. By targeting the primary local threats to coral reefs, we have establishing sites that demonstrate the combined positive effects that marine protected areas (MPAs) and wastewater treatment can have both on coral reefs and the human communities and industries they support. For example, CORAL helped establish the Roatán Marine Park as a protected site where overfishing is regulated and funds from park entry are put back into conservation of the reefs. Even in the last two years, we have seen a significant increase in biomass which demonstrates a decrease in overfishing. Another success in Honduras was working with our partner, the Tela Bay Marine Wildlife Refuge, to have the Honduran National Congress establish durable protections for 46 coral species, 83 identified fish species, and 18 different marine habitats.