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How You can Help Protect Coral Reefs Quick Topics

Educate yourself, stay informed and spread the word.

Participate in training or educational programs that focus on reef ecology. Find out about existing and proposed laws, programs, and projects that could affect coral reefs. When you further your own education, you can help others understand the fragility and value of the world's coral reefs. Share your knowledge with others.

Be an informed consumer.

Only buy marine fish and other seafood when you know they have been collected in an ecologically sound manner. Ask store managers where their seafood comes from and how it was collected. Find out if the exporting country has a management plan to insure the harvest was legal and will be sustainable over time. Check out the Safina Center's sustainable seafood guide online at http://safinacenter.org/programs/sustainable-seafood-program/ to familiarize yourself with sustainable fisheries.

Be a smart consumer.

Shells and coral found in stores were once part of living animals on a reef. These animals are usually destroyed to create products made with shells and coral. If you purchase aquarium fish or corals, make sure they are native to your area and aquaculture-raised and harvested. Non-native, invasive marine animals and plants can be accidentally introduced into the environment, disrupting the natural balance of the reef ecosystem.

Hire local guides when visiting coral reef ecosystems.

This will help you learn about local resources and protect the future of the reef by supporting the local economy.

Be a wastewater crusader!

Make sure that sewage from your boat and home is correctly treated. Excess nutrients in wastewater harm coral reef ecosystems.

Minimize your use of detergents, pesticides and fertilizers.

These products drain into groundwater and ultimately find their way to the ocean. Even if you live hundreds or even thousands of miles from the ocean, remember that you are part of a larger watershed and all rivers, streams, lakes and canals eventually empty into our estuaries, bays and oceans.


Help keep trash out of the oceans and also out of landfills where it can have an adverse impact on water quality in our rivers, bays and oceans.

Conserve water.

Use less water to decrease the amount of runoff and wastewater polluting the ocean and harming coral reefs.

Become a volunteer!

Participate in community coral reef protection and monitoring programs. Volunteer for a reef, beach or shoreline cleanup. If you do not live near a coast, get involved in protecting your watershed.

Report dumping or other illegal activities.

Help be the eyes and ears of the reef! Your involvement can make a big difference. Contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by calling 1-800-320-0519 to make a report.


Last updated: September 07, 2016

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