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Small Fish Unite! Everyone can help save the reef!

Coral reef

We talk a lot here at Respect the Reef about rescuing coral reefs, but sometimes it is easy to become overwhelmed and give up. Don’t despair!

Small fish like us have lots of opportunities to help save the reef. Often, it doesn’t even take much time!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has posted a list of 25 things You Can Do to Save Coral Reefs. You don’t even have to live near a reef to help!

Here are a few of our favorites from the NOAA list:

  • Don’t use chemically enhanced pesticides and fertilizers. Although you may live thousands of miles from a coral reef ecosystem, these products end up in the watershed and may ultimately impact the waters that support coral.
  • Become a member of your local aquarium or zoo. Ask what they are doing and what your donation can do toward saving the world’s coral reefs. The answer may pleasantly surprise you.
  • Support conservation organizations. Many of them have coral reef programs, and your much-needed monetary support will make a big difference.
  • Recycle. This is the first step each of us can take to make a change. Recycle anything and everything. If your community doesn’t have a program, do it anyway, and get one started.

Head over to NOAA to see the rest of the list. NOAA

If you have time after working to save the reef, stop back and tell us what you are doing. Tell us about your successes or even your struggles. Your work could inspire someone else to step up and help. Lots of small fish like us can make a BIG difference! Let’s get working!

Photo by Anna Langova.

Why we should all care about coral reefs!

You probably don’t think about coral reefs very often, especially if you live inland, like I do here in Colorado. However the health of reefs and by extension the oceans, is important to everyone no matter where you live!

We have a slide on our front page that sums it up: “Reefs are the rainforests of the ocean.”

What does that mean?

First of all, it means that the oceans need cleansing in the same way that the atmosphere needs cleansing. Rainforests help cleanse the atmosphere and reefs help cleanse the ocean.

Second, the rainforests are being cut down, decreasing their mass and ability to do their job. The reefs around the world are being damaged and their healing and cleansing properties are disappearing.

Finally, just as we have worked to stop rainforest destruction, we can stop the destruction and even reverse the damage done to reefs, which will benefit ocean ecosystems around the world.

Some easy ways to help save coral reefs:

  1. Educate yourself about the importance of reefs. Then share your knowledge! If people don’t know the problem exists they cannot help change it!
  2. Find organizations that encourage reef conservation and support them by donating and by spreading the word about them.  Add links below in the comments about the groups you find!
  3. Share info on Facebook, tweet and retweet news about the health of the oceans and coral reefs. Knowledge is power!
  4. Think about ways that you might help the reefs through smaller personal actions: for example, did you know that cleaning a beach (an ocean beach) can have a positive affect on reef ecology? Go out and pick up some trash off your local beach…every little bit helps!

I hope this post gives you some good ideas for helping conserve coral reefs. Share your ideas in the comments below.

If you like what we are doing here at Respect The Reef, consider buying a Respect The Reef T-Shirt to promote the cause. We donate 10% of each retail purchase to reef conservation organizations. Be part of the solution and help save our reefs!