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7 surprising REASONS WHY CORALS ARE AWESOME and 7 things you can do to help save them

Source: Unsplash/QUI NGUYEN

Plus 7 ways you can help ensure their survival.

Why coral is cool and how we can help

Coral reefs provide an important ecosystem for life underwater, protect coastal areas by reducing the power of waves hitting the coast, and provide a crucial source of income for millions of people. Coral reefs have an estimated global value of $7.84 trillion each year, due in part to their contribution to fishing and tourism industries and the coastal protection they provide. More than 500 million people worldwide depend on reefs for food, jobs and coastal defence. Here we list 7 reasons why coral is cool, plus 7 actions you can take to ensure their survival. — nhm.ac.uk

Coral make up less than 1% of the ocean but are home to 25% of the world’s marine life!
1. Over 4,000 different marine species live on coral reefs Coral make up less than 1% of the ocean but are home to 25% of the world’s marine life! Source: Unsplash/David Clode
They are not plants or rocks, but in fact they are animals… that sometimes live together in ‘colonies’.
2. Corals are animals, not plants. They are not plants or rocks, but in fact they are animals… that sometimes live together in ‘colonies’. Source: Unsplash/David Clode
Coral reefs provide food for many fish, which in turn provide food for humans. Around 500 million people depend on the fish found on corals.
3. Half a billion people rely on them for food. Coral reefs provide food for many fish, which in turn provide food for humans. Around 500 million people depend on the fish found on corals. Source: Unsplash/Shifaz Abdul Hakkim
Resarch shows coral reefs began forming 240 million years ago. Established corals today date between 5,000-10,000 years.
4. Coral reefs dates back around 240 million years. Resarch shows coral reefs began forming 240 million years ago. Established corals today date between 5,000-10,000 years. Source: Unsplash/David Clode
Many corals feed on particles found in the ocean… leaving the water incredibly clear!
5. They clean the water they’re in. Many corals feed on particles found in the ocean… leaving the water incredibly clear! Source: Unsplash/Olena Shmahalo
They play an key role protecting coastal communities from storms… They act as a buffer and slow down water flow, preventing coastal erosion.
6. Barriers during storms. They play an key role protecting coastal communities from storms… They act as a buffer and slow down water flow, preventing coastal erosion. Source: Unsplash/Ivan Bandura
Around 71 million people each year visit coral reefs on holiday, having a huge impact on local tourism.
7. Huge drivers of local tourism. Around 71 million people each year visit coral reefs on holiday, having a huge impact on local tourism. Source: Unsplash/Joshua Harris

7 things you can do to help save coral reefs

Coral around the world has been dying at unprecedented rates, largely the result of warming ocean waters due to climate change. Now, the International Coral Reef Society’s scientists have published what they call the “Pledge for Coral Reefs,” a list of actions everyone can take to help protect coral and coral reefs. Here we present 7 of those actions we can all take to help ensure the survival of coral around the world. — osu.edu

1. Advocating for science-based decisions and reef protection. Source: Unsplash/Diogo Hungria
2. Communicating to policymakers that protecting coral reefs is a priority. Source: Unsplash/David Clode
3. Eating food that is sustainably produced and locally sourced. Source: Unsplash/Jakob Owens
specifically looking for reef-conscious sunscreens or wearing clothing that offers SPF protection.
4. Limiting the use of products that contain chemicals that can harm reefs — specifically looking for reef-conscious sunscreens or wearing clothing that offers SPF protection. Source: Unsplash/Tomoe Steineck
5. Cutting carbon emissions by walking, biking, carpooling, taking public transit or driving an electric vehicle. Source: Unsplash/David Clode
6. Reducing energy consumption. Source: Unsplash/James Thornton
7. Participating in local actions like beach cleanups and fundraisers that support coral reefs. Source: Unsplash/David Clode
Make an Impact

TAKE THE PLEDGE FOR CORAL REEFS

The International Coral Reef Society promotes the acquisition and dissemination of scientific knowledge to secure coral reefs for future generations.  The science is clear: coral reefs are being degraded faster than they can recover.  When each of us pledges to any number of the following actions, we become a unified and powerful force in securing reefs for the future.