TNC coral science team works to restore damaged reef in U.S. Virgin Islands.
U.S. Virgin Islands | TNC coral science team outplants healthy young corals onto damaged reefs in the waters of St. Croix. © Jennifer Idol

Stories in the Caribbean

Students Help Turn the Tide on Coral Reef Decline

The Ocean Challenge offers students a unique opportunity to help restore marine health, protect essential coral reefs and support coastal communities.

The Nature Conservancy, Bezos Family Foundation and partners have joined in an exciting new partnership to launch an Ocean Challenge through Students Rebuild, a Bezos Family Foundation program that mobilizes the younger generation to take action on some of the world’s most critical issues.

A young girl plays on a beach in The Bahamas.
Bahamas Beach Exploration In the Caribbean, the ocean and beaches provide children with endless playgrounds and opportunities to discover nature. © Shane Gross

The ocean is at the heart of the history and culture of the Caribbean. It also supports half of all livelihoods and provides food sources for the 44 million people living in the region. The coral reefs that weave through Caribbean waters provide habitat for thousands of marine species and draw visitors from all over the world. With overfishing, climate change and pollution putting Caribbean communities at risk, it is more important than ever to protect the coral reefs and waters that sustain lives and livelihoods in this vulnerable region.

Learn how you can take part in the Ocean Challenge!

The Students Rebuild Ocean Challenge provides students and educators with the opportunity to support ocean and coral reef conservation while they learn about marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them for survival. Students take part in the Ocean Challenge by crafting and submitting their own paper sea creature or coral reef based on what they’ve learned about oceans and coastal communities. For every piece of art received, Students Rebuild donates $2, up to $500,000, to Conservancy initiatives that protect and restore the health of the world’s oceans, coasts and coral reefs. The Ocean Challenge will run through June 8, 2019—World Oceans Day.

The fates of coral reef ecosystems and coastal communities are intimately intertwined. This project empowers students to take action to reverse the decline of these invaluable assets.

Coral Strategy Director, TNC's Caribbean Division

For the Caribbean, this allows students to be directly involved in supporting scalable solutions to coral reef decline in The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and other areas. Students are also supporting programs that promote alternative livelihoods and conservation education to reduce pressures on the ocean and strengthen coastal communities. In addition, there are learning opportunities on the ground in the Caribbean, as the Conservancy and partners host youth-focused programs to engage students in educational activities, field trips and internships. Through the Ocean Challenge, we aim to help the next generation understand and embrace the role they can play in saving the coral reefs and waters that make the Caribbean way of life possible. 

Students Rebuild Through the Ocean Challenge, students help protect our oceans and coral reefs and the communities that depend on them.

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