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.

Coral reefs benefit almost 500 million people and provide habitat for 25% of all marine species, but they’re also the most threatened. TNC and SHEBA® brand are teaming up to protect and restore this rich ecosystem.

SHEBA has created The Channel that Grows Coral where every video viewed on the channel will result in a donation to TNC to support its coral reef restoration initiatives.

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

The Film That Grows Coral (1:38) Every video viewed on the channel will result in a donation to TNC to support its coral reef restoration initiatives!
  • A coral fragment has been zip tied to the reef as part of restoration work.

    1. Watch and share

    Watch and share the new SHEBA video, “The Film that Grows Coral” to help raise funds for reef restoration.

  • A volunteer from the Sierra Club helps with a cleanup at Eastham Beach on Cape Cod.

    2. Volunteer!

    Volunteer in local beach or reef cleanups. If you don’t live near the coast, get involved in protecting your watershed. Find an opportunity near you.

  • Divers step off the boat into the water.

    3. Visit a reef and dive responsibly

    Avoid touching reefs or anchoring your boat on the reef. Contact with the reef will damage the delicate coral animals, and anchoring on the reef can kill corals.

  • A young woman runs along a beach at TNC's Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

    4. 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.

  • Matt Pelikan, restoration ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts, used Habitat Network principles to develop his yard as an oasis for wildlife on Martha’s Vineyard.

    5. 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.

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
  • Hauling seine nets on a commercial salmon fishing boat along the coast of Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.

    6. 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.

  • An employee waters the rooftop garden on the Tencent Binhai towers in Shenzhen, China. November 2017. Environmental features of the Tencent Binhai towers in Shenzhen, China include rooftop gardens on the three skybridges, permeable surfaces to slow rainwater on the two towers' topmost roof and many of the landings and ground level, solar panels and 'smart rooms' that adjust temperature based on how many people are in them. TNC's Build Healthy Cities Program.

    7. Conserve water

    The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our oceans.

  • 8. Spread the word!

    Learn more about coral reefs and educate your community. Do your part to Speak Up for Nature and share information with your family and friends, as well as contact your local representatives to see what your state is doing to protect coral reefs. Speak Up For Nature now.

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