Reef Scenic with Diver, Hard Corals, Reef fishes.
Maluku Islands Reef Scenic with Diver, Hard Corals, Reef fishes. © Jeff Yonover

Land & Water Stories

8 Easy Ways You Can Help Coral Reefs

Here are some simple, effective actions you can take to help save coral reefs and the fish, animals and plants that depend on them.

  1. Plant a coral: Join our efforts to plant and restore corals in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Micronesia.
  2. Explore a virtual coral reef: A partnership between Minecraft and The Nature Conservancy invites gamers to build with coral in-game to help restore and regrow coral IRL.  When players placed coral blocks in-game, they could affect coral regrowth in the Caribbean. In just a few days, 10 million blocks were placed in-game, and Minecraft contributed $100,000 to support the Conservancy’s coral restoration work. Additionally, through 2020, Minecraft will contribute the net proceeds from the brand new Coral Crafters Skin Pack, a selection of sea-worthy skins from Ocean Explorer to Sea Pickle Monster!
  3. Raise awareness of the importance of corals: Bonefish Grill supports the Conservancy’s Plant a Million Corals Initiative and is helping The Nature Conservancy raise awareness about the importance of coral reefs. You can also share this page with your friends using the hashtag #CoralOn to let them know that coral reefs are critically important.
  4. Visit a reef and dive responsibly: There’s no better way to appreciate one of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems than seeing it up close. Plan your next vacation so that you can spend an afternoon snorkeling or diving with a responsible guide. Do not touch the reef or anchor your boat on the reef. Contact with the coral will damage the delicate coral animals, and anchoring on the reef can kill it. Ask your dive or snorkel operator what they do to support reef conservation. Let them know this issue is important to their customers.
  5. Choose a reef-friendly sunscreen: Several common sunscreen ingredients, including oxybenzone and octinoxate, have been shown to be toxic to corals. Sunscreens that use non-nano zinc oxide as their active ingredients do not contribute to coral bleaching.     
  6. Make your lawncare green: You may live thousands of miles from a coral reef, but the products you put on your lawn will eventually flow into the water system. Research green alternatives for fertilizer and pesticides that won’t harm coral reefs and marine life.
  7. Leave no trace: Don't leave unwanted fishing lines or nets in the water or on the beach. Any kind of litter pollutes the water and can harm the reef and fish.
  8. Contact your representatives: Demand they take action to protect coral reefs, stop sewage pollution of our oceans, expand marine protected areas and take steps to reverse climate change.    
Healthy Hard Corals, photographed underwater in the protected marine park, Parque Nacional del Este.
Parque Nacional del Este Healthy Hard Corals, photographed underwater in the protected marine park, Parque Nacional del Este. © Jeff Yonover