Who Should Pick the Winners of Climate Change?

The facts are clear: our world is getting warmer, and the warming is happening rapidly. For plants, animals and other organisms, shifts in climate have enormous consequences. Nowhere is this more true than on coral reefs, where a worldwide crisis is underway that has scientists and environmentalists asking a chilling question: how can we save coral reefs? At the Coral Reef Alliance, we believe that the natural process of adaptation can help save coral reefs. A new article in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, co-authored by CORAL staff and others, argues that adaptation will occur faster and have a better chance of succeeding if nature has many options with which to work. Options take the form of different species, individuals and genes and work like tickets in a lottery: most are not winners, but a few have just the right combinations to succeed. This article outlines an innovative approach and practical advice about how we can … [Read more...]

More People, More Trash

By Naneng Setiasih, Coral Triangle Regional Manager The small-fishing village of Tulamben in Bali struggled with poverty for decades, but that changed with a series of unfortunate events a few decades ago. The USS Liberty beached along its rocky shore after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. And in 1963 the eruption of Mount Agung pushed the ship into the ocean, making it quickly one of the most well-known wreck dives in the world. It wasn’t long before tourism became the main source of income for the community. Today, Tulamben is known as one of the best dive spots in Bali, and the USS Liberty wreck can see upwards of 100 people per day during the high season. But with tourism comes more people, and more people means more stress on the marine ecosystems. We started working with the Tulamben community in 2013 to help them manage their coral reefs, and the community is starting to mobilize to take action—notably … [Read more...]

Visiting Reefs and Rain Gardens with the Mayor of Maui County

On a beautiful and uncharacteristically calm afternoon in February, Maui County’s Mayor, Alan Arakawa, arrived at Kahekili Beach Park, barefoot and carrying a mask and fins in a bucket. Mayor Arakawa was eager to get in the water to dive with CORAL and our partners from the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative and the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources ("DAR") to check out the reef. We had invited the Mayor and Rob Parsons, Executive Assistant for Environmental Concerns, to join us to visit priority watershed conservation sites in West Maui—primarily the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (“KHFMA”), designated by the US Coral Reef Task Force as a top priority. We wanted to see the reef firsthand and talk about solutions to the many interconnected threats facing our reefs. As it turns out, our mayor is an avid waterman. He told us that he has dived reefs all over Maui throughout his life, but hadn’t been out diving in over a … [Read more...]