What We Do
Founded in 1994, the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is the only international organization working exclusively to unite communities to protect our planet’s coral reefs. We focus on three fundamental catalysts for change:
- marine protected areas (MPAs)
- marine recreation tourism
- local communities
By engaging stakeholders from all three groups—MPA managers, marine tourism operators, and local residents—we build partnerships that establish lasting change and promote coral reef health around the world.
CORAL promotes conservation through our Coral Reef Sustainable Destination (CRSD) approach, a holistic model that combines marine protected area (MPA) management and sustainable business operation for community benefit. The CRSD model rapidly and effectively harnesses community action as it builds a new economic reality whereby sustainable business practices and community-based conservation are linked with new opportunities, better fishing, and preserved cultural identity.
The goal of the CRSD model is to increase the capacity of marine recreation providers, reef resource managers, and local community members to work collaboratively toward conservation. On completion of our work, community members at each destination have the fundamental skills and abilities to implement effective and financially sustainable coral conservation strategies.
The concept of reef resiliency as a conservation approach is quite simple: reduce local reef threats to make the ecosystem more resistant to large-scale global threats. CORAL works toward increasing reef resilience in all project sites by providing microgrants to our local partners to support their efforts to preserve and protect coral reefs. By supporting small-scale, local projects, CORAL generates immediate and positive impacts on the health of coral reefs worldwide.
Support for MPAs
Marine protected areas work and are key to saving coral reefs. Effectively managed MPAs represent the best defense coral reefs have against the ill effects of climate change: coral bleaching, introduced species, disease, and predator imbalances. Resilient reefs, reef systems where locally derived threats (recreational damage, unsustainable coastal development, watershed contamination, unsustainable fishing practices, lack of education and awareness) are measurably reduced, are better able to combat the large-scale threats brought about by a warming world. Studies show that even adjacent areas benefit from increased vitality in protected areas.
Awareness and Outreach
In order to make people around the world aware of the threats and solutions to coral reef health, CORAL creates awareness and action through outreach initiatives. Given the growing concerns about global warming and the need to drastically limit the damage we inflict on our environment, it is crucial to engage everyone in our efforts to preserve coral reefs. CORAL’s members and partners take an active role in helping us get the word out about increasing threats and the importance of coral reefs. From highly successful projects to the resources we share on this site, CORAL builds strong communities to spread knowledge for real change.