An Intro from CORAL’s Conservation Science Director
You may have noticed what a hot summer it has been and seen the news that this is a record-breaking hot year around the world. Indeed we are approaching a global marine heatwave (source), and it’s expected to get worse by the end of this calendar year. Marine heatwaves can cause mass coral bleaching, a stress response in which corals expel the colorful algae living in their tissue, revealing the white calcium carbonate skeleton underneath, hence the term “bleaching”. This can lead to wide-spread coral death.
In an effort to consolidate the information and resources on coral bleaching and what dive operators, managers, and stakeholders can do before, during, and after a bleaching event, we at CORAL have created this Coral Bleaching Toolkit & Comprehensive Guide.
We’re also supporting and mobilizing our partners to respond and coordinate with each other, including fundraising for emergency funds to evaluate and respond to this predicted mass bleaching event this summer and fall. It’s important to monitor this critical event as it unfolds, so we encourage you to learn more and find ways you can help.
Although the news is grim, we’re staying strong to give corals the best chance possible to adapt to this warming world. We need to reduce emissions, change to renewable energy, and protect our coral reefs by reducing contamination from sewage and solid waste. We need to lessen our fishing pressure and help marine protected areas.
We can do a lot, but we need to work together.
Thank you for your support,
Helen Fox, PhD
Conservation Science Director
Coral Reef Alliance