Hidden beneath the ocean waters, coral reefs teem with life. Coral reefs support more species than any other marine environment and rival rainforests in their biodiversity. Countless numbers of creatures rely on coral reefs for their survival. These important habitats are threatened by a range of human activities. Many of the world’s reefs have already been destroyed or severely damaged by an increasing array of threats, including pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, and global climate change. However, we can still protect and preserve our remaining reefs if we act now. NOAA is leading U.S. efforts to study and conserve these precious resources for future generations.
Through the activities of the Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA works to address key threats that impact coral reefs. From coral mapping, monitoring, and modeling to on-the-ground and in-water restoration activities, NOAA is leading ridge-to-reef efforts to support the management and conservation of these valuable ecosystems.
CoRIS is an information portal that provides access to NOAA coral reef information and data products with emphasis on the U.S. states, territories and remote island areas. NOAA coral reef activities include coral reef mapping, monitoring and assessment; natural and socioeconomic research and modeling; outreach and education; and management and stewardship.
Climate change and ocean acidification—which can result in coral bleaching events, slower growth and reproduction rates, and degraded reef structure—are the most pressing global threats to coral reefs. Watch and explore why climate change is the biggest global threat coral reefs face today, and how fostering more resilient reefs may be an effective strategy to address the impacts of climate change.
Climate change is the greatest global threat to coral reef ecosystems. Scientific evidence now clearly indicates that the Earth's atmosphere and ocean are warming, and that these changes are primarily due to greenhouse gases derived from human activities. As temperatures rise, mass coral bleaching events and infectious disease outbreaks are becoming more frequent.