THE VALUE OF REEFS
Corals are vital to a healthy planet - a quarter of all biodiversity in the ocean depends on coral reefs. Almost 1 billion people worldwide rely on them for jobs, food, or both.
And coral reefs protect people and build infrastructure from storms by attenuating 97% of wave energy.
THE CORAL REEF CRISIS
Climate change has the ocean warming faster than corals can adapt; and bleaching is happening increasingly frequently. Many coral reefs are already severely degraded by over-fishing, agricultural pollution, sedimentation from overdevelopment, and the increased frequency and severity of storms.
We have already lost about a third of all reefs and at least half of existing reefs are considered degraded.
If current emissions trajectories continue, 99% of reefs will be lost.
THE ROLE OF RESTORATION
Carbon already released into the atmosphere will continue to warm ocean waters to a level inhospitable to corals for decades to come. This means that scientists face a predicted gap between the threat to extinction coral populations face today, and a future ocean that is hospitable again to corals.
As we battle climate change and its impacts we must buy time and increase ecosystem resilience. That is what coral restoration is all about - bridging the bleak reality of today with the coral-hospitable ocean we believe is possible in the future.
Here is the good news: science shows that restoration of our reefs is possible and the spatial scale of success is steadily increasing. Coral restoration is part of a suite of tools that can keep coral reefs around for our grandchildren.
CRC AND GLOBAL CORAL RESTORATION EFFORTS
The practice has skyrocketed from a few handfuls of coral restoration organizations 5 years ago to about 1000 organizations today. Most of these organizations are driven by local communities trying to save the reefs in their backyard. These groups, often small and severely underfunded, play an essential role in saving this ecosystem.
The Coral Restoration Consortium’s mission is to support their efforts and unite the many groups working hard around the world.
Martin Colognoli, Coral Guardian