5 ways to help coral reefs today (no matter where you live)

July 18, 2016, 7:01 a.m.
Coral reef with fish
Photo: Pawe? Borówka/Shutterstock

Coral reefs are home to a quarter of all marine life on Earth, and they need our help. Here are just a few things you can do to for corals, even if you live far away from the sea.

1. What you put down a storm drain eventually leads to the ocean and to corals. Take care to avoid putting any chemicals down storm drains. Go a step farther by reporting dumping or other illegal activities that affect waterways. Your reporting can help the enforcement of environmental protections.

2. Overfishing is one of the greatest threats facing coral reefs around the world. Eat only sustainably caught seafood. You can use the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Guides to track what’s safe to eat and what to avoid.

3. Support reef-friendly businesses, from reef-safe sunscreens purchased at your local store to tour operators and hotels when you go on vacation. In coastal areas with reefs, make sure everyone knows that you care about the health of reefs both locally and worldwide.

4. If you have an aquarium, make sure you purchase only fish that have been collected in an environmentally sustainable way. The same goes for a live rock aquarium. The collection of live rock can be devastating to reefs even if legally collected. Learn more about the troubles with live rock and possible conservation solutions.

5. Support conservation organizations with a coral reef program, such as Oceanic Society or The Nature Conservancy. Your donation, even a small one, can make a big difference for coral conservation around the globe.