Coral Reefs

2018 International Year of the Reef

Transcript: International Year of the Reef. Celebrating these remarkable ecosystems every single day. Coral reefs are a hotspot for marine life of all kinds. Coral reefs support our seafood and fishing industries and help keep our coastal economy strong. Coral reefs protect coastal communities from storms, waves, and erosion and play an important role in many cultures and traditions. The existence of our coral reefs is threatened mostly by climate change, pollution, and damaging fishing practices. The good news is it's not too late to make a difference. But we most act now. Learn how you can get involved and celebrate the International Year of the Reef.

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. Coral reefs face an increasing array of threats, including pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, and global climate change. However, there’s so much we can (and are) doing to protect and preserve coral reefs and all they do for us. NOAA is leading U.S. efforts to study and conserve these precious resources for current and future generations.

NOAA is an International Year of the Reef partner. This yearlong designation aims to strengthen awareness globally about the value of, and threats to, coral reefs and associated ecosystems; promote partnerships between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society on the management of coral reefs; identify and implement effective management strategies for conservation, increased resiliency and sustainable use of these ecosystems and promoting best practices; and share information on best practices in relation to sustainable coral reef management.

Screenshot of CoRIS site
Coral Reef Information System

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.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
Podcast: Connecting the Dots Between Corals and Humans

Coral reefs are under intense pressure from climate change, pollution, and unsustainable use. So what can we do about it? To answer that question, we need to better understand the main threat to our reefs. Humans. Hear how scientists are delivering high-quality data to people who need it—helping us make better decisions about protecting and conserving our reefs.