WORLD REEF DAY

Schooling fish along a coral reef in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

What is World Reef Day?

June 1st, is a call to action for consumers, businesses, and organizations to reflect on the delicate ecosystem of our ocean’s coral reefs. The day brings together the general public and opinion leaders to create active change through education and engagement.

Why should we act now?

Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the Earth surface yet the reefs feed and shelter a significant amount of marine life. At least 500 million people rely on reef for food, coastal protection, and their livelihoods.

Our coral reefs are in serious danger. In recent yeas, there has been a major decline of the world’s reef (40% in Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef, 85% in the Caribbean and 99% in the Florida Keys). Most of the destruction up until now has been done by humans, and we can fix it.

Melissa Gaskill provides more information regarding the state of coral reefs on the PBS Nature site.

5 Simple actions that can be accomplished to protect our precious resources:

  • Eat sustainable seafood
  • Reduce single-use plastics
  • Use reef-safe sunscreen
  • Visit and enjoy national and state parks that have protected beaches and coasts
  • Spread awareness (using #WorldReefDay hash tag)

While I consider scuba diving a recreational hobby. The byproduct of this hobby has educated me about various conservation efforts and truly how fragile our natural areas are firsthand.

Below are video clips from scuba dives in the Belize Barrier Reef in the Caribbean. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef system after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The Caribbean reef extend for about 180 miles mostly along the coast of Belize. Several rare and endangered animal species, such as the American crocodile, are found in the area, as is the world’s largest population of West Indian manatees. The Belize Barrier Reef was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.

Ambergris Caye Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Diving along the Belize Barrier Reef

Belize is one my favorite places to dive due to the abundance of marine life.

Here are few articles on the pro’s and con’s of ecotourism that I found interesting.

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