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Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) 


Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is committed to saving the world’s coral reefs. We work at local, regional, and global levels to keep coral reefs healthy, so they can survive for generations to come. As one of the largest global NGOs focused exclusively on coral reefs, CORAL has used cutting-edge science and community engagement for nearly 30 years to reduce direct threats to reefs and to promote scalable and effective solutions for their protection.
Scientific evidence is mounting that corals can adapt to the effects of climate change. Our research shows that if we keep corals healthy in strategic, ecologically connected networks, we can create the conditions under which evolution can help rescue reefs if global carbon emissions are reduced. Achieving this requires work at three different scales:

●  Local: The scale at which an individual or community interacts with marine resources is the best scale for management actions that reduce local stressors. We partner with communities who depend on coral reefs for food and income, and work with them to effectively address local stressors, such as overfishing and land-based pollution, in order to create healthy and resilient human and ecological communities. Some examples of activities include:

  o  Implementing wastewater treatment solutions to improve coral and human health

  o  Restoring land habitats to protect runoff pollution

  o  Establishing overfishing regulations to protect fish stock

●  Regional: This is the scale at which evolutionary adaptation occurs across reefs connected by the movement of coral larvae. At this scale, we ensure that marine spatial planning efforts protect the diversity required to fuel evolution, and we establish collaborations to build momentum to address key threats. Some examples of activities include:

  o  Conducting regional water quality monitoring and testing

  o  Developing and supporting Destination Management Organizations to promote sustainable tourism

●  Global: The next few decades are a critical time window for helping corals persist. To ensure that conservation planning around the world protects the diversity required for evolutionary adaptation, we are building alliances across the conservation community and providing tools and guidance that can help others implement adaptation-smart conservation. Some examples of activities include:

  o  Building a global coral bleaching monitoring training program and network

  o  Incorporating evolutionary rescue science and conservation strategies in 30 x 30 initiatives (a global movement to protect 30% of our oceans by 2030

‎At CORAL, we pride ourselves on our ability to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems with creativity, science, and humanity. Most importantly, we believe there is hope for coral reefs and the people who depend upon them


●  Although they cover less than 0.1 percent of the earth’s surface, coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world. The coral reefs we see today are hundreds—sometimes thousands—of years in the making. Like trees, coral reefs are living structures that can take many years to regenerate once destroyed. Since most coral species grow less than an inch per year, reef destruction can have long-lasting consequences.

●  Scientists predict that all corals will be threatened by 2050, with 75 percent facing high to critical threat levels.

●  Overfishing is a pervasive threat, thought to affect more than 55 percent of the world’s coral reefs.

●  Healthy reefs support local—and global—economies. Through the tourism industry and fisheries, coral reefs generate billions of dollars—and millions of jobs—in more than 100 countries around the world. Studies show that on average, countries with coral reef industries derive more than half of their gross national product from them. Over 500 million people around the world rely on coral reefs for food and income.

●  The annual value of the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs to millions of people is estimated to be over $375 billion. For residents of coral reef areas who depend on income from tourism, reef destruction creates a significant loss of employment in the tourism, marine recreation, and sport fishing industries.

Many of the compounds now being used in human medicines, including some that treat cancer, are found on coral reefs, with probably many more yet to be discovered.


As a result of our work in the Hawaiian Islands, we have:

●  Restored 3,325 ft. of road and 43,225 sq. ft. to trap sediment from smothering of coral reefs in Maui

●  Engaged over 500 volunteers to support our ridge to reef restoration program in West Maui

●  Distributed over 10,000 seeds for at-home planting kits for the restoration program

●  Planted 48 trees and 155 grasses to restore the watershed and stop sediment from reaching the ocean.

●  Implemented stream gulch restoration project in West Maui, installing 34 sediment traps along a highly erosive site.

●  Engaged with over 350 students (189 students in elementary and middle) to talk about coral reef conservation and science-based solutions that help our environment

Mesoamerican Reef

As a result of our work in the Mesoamerican Region, we have:

●  Prevented 29.3 million gallons of sewage being discharged into the ocean every year

●  Reduced the amount of harmful bacteria in West End, Roatán (Honduras) by 98%

●  Between 2016 and 2020, we demonstrated a decrease in coral disease by 90% in West End, Roatán

●  Increased the fish biomass of the most harvested species in Tela Bay, the lane snapper, by 178,075 lbs from 2016 to 2019. An increase of 165% in five years

●  Engaged with 62 businesses in Roatán and 28 in Utila to implement sustainable practices including reducing plastic usage by substituting eco-friendly options

●  Engaged 25 local community members in our “train the trainers” workshop to promote sustainable tourism

For a full list of actions to save coral reefs, view the Reef-Safe Travel Guide and video (direct link here).

●  Wear reef-safe sunscreen and/or a rashguard

●  Don’t stand on or touch coral reefs

●  Don’t collect shells or pieces of coral, even if they look dead

●  Avoid single-use plastics

●  Use reusable products to eliminate waste