Welcome to the International Conservation
Society's Coral Reef Conservation page. Coral reefs are perhaps the most biodiverse, colorful and stunningly beautiful ecosystems
on the planet. Yet if we do not change our ways and begin to take coral reef conservation more seriously the coral reefs will
not be around for our posterity to enjoy.
Evidence that runoff from sugar
cane plantations is destroying the Great
Barrier reef has recently been documented. It is not too late, however, to take action and reverse this. Click
on the coral reef conservation links below to help preserve one of the natural wonders of the world and one of nature’s
most precious and loving gifts to mankind.
Irresponsible island mining practices
also destroy coral reefs. Click on the link below to find out more about who the culprits are and what you can do to stop
them. Help make the world aware of the need for coral reef conservation today.
As marine ecosystems, reefs are
impacted by all of the pollution sources described in our marine ecosystems section above. Ecotourism, however, is perhaps
the greatest threat to our coral reefs.
It all begins with the resorts.
Often beachfront hotels destroy reefs in the process of developing their property. An entire beach on the north coast of the
island paradise of Bali has literally disappeared. This is because when the hotels obliterated the
reef the sand no longer had anything to hold it in place and simply washed into the ocean.
Divers and Snorkelers are often
well-meaning culprits in the destruction of the reef. Coral secretes a protective mucous, which allows it to withstand the
accostments of undersea life. When coral is touched this mucous is damaged and the coral is destroyed. We hope that all divers
and snorkelers will read this and refrain from touching coral as they explore its beauty.
There is also a temptation, when
tired, to sit or stand on the reef to rest. Please, for heaven’s sake, don’t do this. The contact destroys the
coral, as described above, and the weight of the divers actually breaks the coral as well. If you are tired, please swim ashore
or float until you are refreshed. Our natural heritage depends on the conservation of coral reefs.
Sometimes tourists undermine coral
reef conservation efforts by taking endangered marine species for their aquariums as well. While there are many beautiful
species of marine life that are highly tempting to abscond with, it is hoped that people will consider the impact of this
behavior on the environment.
Tourist boats also often anchor
in the reefs in large numbers. When they pull their anchors up again this breaks off huge chunks of coral which are very slow
to grow back, if they can even regenerate at all (they usually can’t)
The coral reefs are among
our most beautiful and precious natural heritage. Click on the coral reef conservation links below to preserve the reefs through
education and by demanding reform.