CORAL Wins The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) was honored to be recognized by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting as one of six organizations and individuals to receive The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources (CALA) on September 9, 2020. The CALA was established in 2016 to recognize exemplary leadership in the field of climate adaptation and the protection of the nation’s vital natural resources and the people who depend on them in a changing world. “Climate change poses growing risks to our nation’s valuable fish and wildlife resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend upon them,” stated Kelly Hepler, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. “This year’s awardees have done outstanding work to help safeguard species, habitats, and communities in a changing world, and we are thrilled to … [Read more...]

How You Can Help Coral Reefs for Earth Day & Every Day

By Dr. Madhavi Colton On April 22, 1970, concerned environmentalists came together to create Earth Day to focus on the environment and bring attention to the effects that humans were having on our planet’s ecosystems. The first Earth Day brought 20 million people together to rally for the protection of the environment, and later that year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. Since then, Earth Day has grown to a global event, with people around the world coming together to protect our environment. Almost 50 years later, our planet and its inhabitants are suffering as climate change causes severe ocean heat waves and increases the likelihood of wildfires. We’ve also seen the rapid decline of coral reefs over the past 30 years. These devastating consequences of climate change are becoming the new normal for our time. However, if we come … [Read more...]

Plant a Tree, Save a Coral

Jen Vander Veur is fighting an uphill battle to save coral reefs on the slopes of West Maui’s mountains. Jen is CORAL’s Program Manager in Maui, and she’s leading the charge on restoring Maui’s once lush forest to stabilize the soil and protect coral reefs downstream from being smothered by sediment, reversing the effects of decades of industrial agriculture for sugarcane and pineapple. Jen’s work takes place in two watersheds of West Maui - Honokõwai and Wahikuli – that were identified as “priority watersheds” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The uphill location of CORAL’s restoration projects tends to surprise people, but what many people don’t realize is that what happens on land has a direct impact on the shoreline. During heavy rainfall, soil and contaminants in watersheds enter streams, travel downstream, and get dumped directly into the ocean. Because ocean currents travel from West Maui’s shores … [Read more...]

Let’s Start Saving Coral Reefs

At the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), we're on a mission to save the world's coral reefs. But to do that, we first need to identify what the most urgent threats to coral reefs are. Luckily, we (and scientists all around the world) have the answer! According to scientific publications like the United Nations' IPCC special report, the biggest threat to coral reefs around the world is the impact of climate change. When corals are also experiencing the negative effects of overfishing, water pollution, and unsustainable tourism on top of feeling the heat of climate change, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, for them to survive. That's why our work focuses on addressing threats to reefs so they can survive and adapt to the warming temperatures of climate change. Learn more about our solutions below, and stay tuned for ways that you can get involved and save coral reefs! … [Read more...]

Motorcyclists Become Unexpected Allies in Protecting Maui’s Reefs

If you walk along a certain dirt road in the Wahikuli watershed in West Maui, you will see a large sign made by the Coral Reef Alliance asking bikers for their kokua (help) in avoiding this road and taking an alternative road nearby instead. What does this road a mile from the shoreline have to do with coral reefs? And how can bikers help? In West Maui, water pollution from old dirt roads has led to a decline of coral cover from 30 to just 10 percent in the last fifteen years. Stormwater runoff also regularly causes the Hawaiʻi Department of Health to issue “Brown Water Advisories”, which are warnings to the public to avoid swimming or fishing because of risks to human health. Beach closures negatively impact Hawaii’s natural and cultural heritage, as well as the tourism industry. CORAL, our partners, and volunteers from the community are working to address this threat by planting native plants and deep-rooted grasses … [Read more...]

Hawaiʻi Wai Ola Citizen Science Program Launches

‘A`ohe hua o ka mai`a i ka lā ho’okaāhi -- When a task is done together, no task is too big." The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) and partners are excited to announce the launch of the Hawaiʻi Wai Ola citizen science program. Hawaiʻi Wai Ola is a collaborative group (called a Hui in Hawaiian) comprised of ten organizations, which aims to improve Hawaiʻi Island’s coastal water quality through science, communication and collaboration to accelerate positive change. Hawaiʻi Wai Ola’s diverse set of members includes: Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) Hawaiʻi Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) Kahalu’u Bay Education Center Natural Energy Lab of Hawaiʻi Authority (NELHA) South Kohala Coastal Partnership Surfrider Foundation The Kohala Center- Kahalu'u Bay Education Center The Nature Conservancy (TNC) University of Hawaiʻi Hilo (UHH) Analytical Lab Waiwai Ola Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands Hawaiʻi Wai Ola is harnessing the … [Read more...]

CORAL Study Published in Nature Climate Change

  In a pioneering peer-reviewed study, scientists from the Coral Reef Alliance demonstrate that coral reef management that takes evolution and adaptation into account can help rescue coral reefs from the effects of climate change.   The study titled, "Management for network diversity speeds evolutionary adaptation to climate change" is the result of the collaborative Modeling Adaptation Potential (MAP) project to improve the scientific understanding of how coral reefs can adapt in the era of climate change. It is well documented that climate change is causing corals to die off at an unprecedented rate, but our study provides tools that offer promise for their survival. Our results show that when evolution is enabled, conservation efforts can help corals adapt to rising temperatures." -Dr. Madhavi Colton, co-author and Program Director at the Coral Reef Alliance. What We Found: Predictions about the future of … [Read more...]

Buleleng Bali Dive Festival in Indonesia

CORAL participated in the third annual Buleleng Bali Dive Festival (BBDF) in East Buleleng, Indonesia in late 2018. The festival began in 2014 and was inspired by Nyoman Sugiarta winning CORAL's Conservation Prize. As part of the festival, CORAL and Reef Check Indonesia led and organized reef monitoring in five villages across the East Buleleng Marine Protected Area. The festival also included art performances, exploratory dives and educational sessions for students on marine life. … [Read more...]

The Success Story of Namena Marine Reserve’s Dive Tags

**Submissions for the 2020 dive tag photo contest are now open! Click here for more info.** The Namena Marine Reserve (Namena) in Fiji is renowned as of the world’s most incredible scuba diving locations, attracting divers from around the world with its unparalleled coral reef and marine life. When snorkelers or divers visit Namena, they proudly wear a round “poker chip” style tag on their gear, which they later take home with them as a treasured token of their time in Fiji. What many people don’t realize, however, is that this dive tag is much more than just a souvenir – it represents a great success story for community-based conservation. Namena is Fiji’s largest “no-take” Marine Protected Area (MPA) and forms part of the traditionally-owned fishing grounds (iqoliqoli) of the Kubulau community. The dive tag program was born over 15 years ago when the Kubulau community approached CORAL for assistance in developing a sustainable … [Read more...]

Long-term Conservation and Collaboration in Honduras Pays Off for Coral Reefs

In January 2018, we shared the results of Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI)’s report on the status and trends of reef health in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR). One of the key findings of the HRI Report Card is that the long-term dedication and collaboration of groups like CORAL in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) has paid off, leading to direct and measurable improvements in reef health. Despite the fact that corals worldwide were hard-hit by mass bleaching over the last few years, 10 years of reef monitoring by HRI - from over 300 sites across 1000 kilometers and four countries - tells us that things are looking up in the MAR. The positive trend is attributed to stronger fisheries management and a significant increase in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which now cover 57% of the MAR. Legal protection and local management actions like no-fishing zones can lead to a measurable and positive shift in the number and size of fish. And when … [Read more...]