10 Things You can do for Coral Reefs
- Conserve EnergyConserve EnergyFossil fuel emissions contribute to global climate change and ocean acidification, so walk, ride your bike or ride the bus whenever possible! Use energy efficient
appliances and lightbulbs or consider alternative energy.
- Avoid harsh chemicalsAvoid harsh chemicalsEven if you don’t live near the ocean, rain can carry these and other runoff all the way to the sea, harming corals directly or spurring the growth of algae which can smother coral. Support local and organic agriculture to encourage natural alternatives.
- Get informed Get informedThe more you know the better you’ll be able to pass on the message. Tell your friends how important reefs are and how they can help.
- Shop wiselyShop wiselyAvoid buying coral as jewelry or décor.
- Don’t touch or anchor on the reefDon’t touch or anchor on the reefWhen boating, swimming, snorkeling or diving, don’t touch or anchor on the reef. Keep your fins and gear up off the bottom. Even stirred up sand can smother coral animals.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: especially plastics!Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: especially plastics!Cut down on what gets thrown away and properly dispose of trash when at the beach or on the water. Carry away what others leave behind.
- Choose sustainable seafoodChoose sustainable seafoodGet informed about what types of seafood are sustainable, in season and managed.
- Vote for conservationVote for conservationEncourage your government officials to protect coral reefs with effective management plans for our coastlines, fisheries, marine protected areas and more.
- Support conservation organizationsSupport conservation organizationsEither with your time or money – your contribution will make a difference!
- VolunteerVolunteerVolunteer to help with beach clean ups, wetland restoration, reef monitoring, coral restoration projects and more!
Coral restoration projects in the Virgin Islands aim to enhance coral populations by growing corals in seafloor nurseries and then transplanting nursery grown coral fragments to depleted reef sites.
As ocean temperatures rise, coral reefs become more vulnerable to large scale bleaching events. The BleachWatch program looks to recreational divers, swimmers and snorkelers to provide feedback about local reef health before, during and after bleaching events.
Marine Protected Areas
Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) are established to protect ecosystems, preserve cultural resources or sustain fisheries. There are currently six MPA’s that make up the Virgin Islands Marine Protected Area Network striving to protect and conserve the territory’s marine resources.