What can I do to protect coral reefs?

Even if you live far from coral reefs, you can still have an impact on reef health and conservation.

Coral Reef

Coral reefs play a vital role in sustaining the health of our oceans and our economy. NOAA is working to increase understanding of the causes of reef decline.

Here are some things YOU can do:

  • Educate yourself about why healthy coral reefs are valuable to the people, fish, plants, and animals that depend on them.
  • Become an informed consumer and learn how your daily choices like water use, recycling, seafood, vacation spots, fertilizer use, and driving times can positively (or negatively) impact the health of coral reefs.
  • Find out about existing and proposed laws, programs, and projects that could affect the nation’s coral reefs (or reefs in your area, if this applies to you).
  • Remember to vote at the polls and with your dollars.
  • Dive into action by volunteering for a fish count or a beach or reef cleanup.

There are also many things you can do to ensure that you are environmentally conscious when you visit coral reefs or coastal areas. These include things such as hiring local guides to support the economy, choosing to buy souvenirs that are not made from reef organisms, removing all trash from an area, and never touching or harassing wildlife in reef areas.

Finally, stay informed and spread the word! Your excitement will help get others involved.