6 easy ways to help save coral reefs

Help save coral reefs

Here are 6 easy ways for you to help save coral reefs. Sadly, over a quarter of our worlds reefs have been lost to coral bleaching, water pollution, habitat development and global warming. But there is still hope...

Scuba dive and snorkel with care

female scuba diver and coral reef with a group of fusiliers

Sebastian Pena Lambarri

Research has shown that snorkelers and divers can have a negative impact on coral reefs, if they are not careful. The excitement of being in the water often causes excess finning, but by doing so it is easy to accidentally kick the reef and kill it. Coral reef infrastructures may look indestructible, but they are incredibly fragile - Even the smallest of knocks will break and destroy a coral.

Corals are covered in a fragile membrane, which when touched will cause a perforation, exposing it to infection. To help save coral reefs and avoid damaging them while snorkeling and diving, maintain good buoyancy and underwater awareness at all times. Make sure that your body and equipment don’t come into contact with corals, and keep all dive equipment (such as your octopus) tucked neatly away to stop it from touching the reef. Lets help protect coral reefs for future generations by making sure we scuba dive and snorkel with care.

Choose sunscreen wisely to keep coral reefs alive

Couple covered up at the beach

Did you know that sunscreen has a detrimental effect on our worlds reefs? The protective layer we use to shield ourselves from the suns harmful rays is full of chemicals which are contributing to coral bleaching and the decline of coral.

There are 4 common chemicals found in sunscreen which are known to harm corals; oxybenzone, octinoxate, butylparabe and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC). When absorbed, these can lead to deformation, reproduction disruption, bleaching and ultimately the death of coral reefs.

Alarmingly 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up our oceans each year. So how can you protect yourself from the sun and help save coral reefs at the same time? Avoid using sunscreen which contain the other ingredients listed above.

Water resistant sunscreen is better, as it will be more likely to stay on your skin and out of the water. Use a sunscreen that has been tested as biodegradable, ensuring it will break down in a marine environment. The most effective way is to cover up with UV clothing such as full length rash guards when in the sea.Taking the above steps will help us to keep coral reefs alive.

Stop coral bleaching by being more sustainable

Dead coral from a reef suffering from coral bleaching

Global warming is having an enormous effect on coral reefs today. As the world heats up, so do our oceans. Even the slightest change in temperature causes reefs to turn skeletal white from coral bleaching. However, there are some easy everyday ways we can minimise our carbon footprint, and help save coral reefs at the same time.

One of the biggest impacts to reefs is wastewater. Often flowing directly into the ocean, this run-off contains all kinds of rubbish and chemicals. Help keep coral reefs alive by being more wise with your water consumption, turn the tap off and take shorter showers. Choose biodegradable detergents and cleanings product that go down our sinks and drains, as these eventually end up in the ocean. Take other steps such as switching to eco-friendly lightbulbs, plant trees, avoid pesticides, drive an energy-efficient car, and try to fly less. All these little things contribute towards conserving the energy we use and reduce global warming to help save coral reefs.

Avoid buying coral souvenirs

Dead Coral Souvenirs

Coral has been a popular souvenir for many years, and is commonly used in jewelry. Pink and red corals called Corallium are particularly desirable, and are often carved and created into beautiful pieces which can fetch up to $20,000. Although most Corallium used in jewelry and art is commercially grown and harvested, the removal of this species has reduced reproduction capabilities in the wild, meaning they are now in decline.

Corals grow at a very slow rate, and it takes decades for an entire reef to be produced. If harvested and extracted at a young age, the coral bed often struggles to recover. Keep corals alive and help save reefs by admiring them from afar rather than adorning your body with them.

Keep beaches and oceans clean

Plastic cups contaminating Coral Reefs

It is a well-known fact that our oceans are suffocating from plastic pollution. This has a direct impact on coral reefs. Not only does it affect water quality, but plastic causes physical damage to corals by tearing them and causing infection. It can also cause algae to grow, creating an imbalance in the corals, which stops reproduction.

We can help by reducing our plastic usage and consumption, but also by getting involved and volunteering with beach and ocean clean-ups. If you live by the coast, find out whether there are any local community initiatives in place to help with ocean clean ups. If you spot rubbish floating in the sea, be a responsible snorkeler or diver and collect it. Lets all do our bit whenever we are in the ocean, and together we can help save coral reefs from plastic pollution.

Support corals with Citrus Reef

Rainbow Colour Metal Straws in bottle

Here at Citrus Reef we are dedicated to giving back 10% of all our profits to support coral reef conservation. If you’d like to help save coral reefs then come and check out our exciting range of ‘help the reefs’ bracelets, necklaces, earrings & rings plus sustainable gifts such as our awesome Rainbow Metal Straws to rid your life of plastic!

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