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Respect the Reef Project — Protecting our Coral Reefs

Fish around Coral World St ThomasThe Respect the Reef project was started by Ric Dilz to help create awareness about our oceans’ coral reefs. They raise funds through product sales as well as donations from patrons for reef research and education. Ocean reefs are vital to the survival of so many plant and animal life and impact humans in countless ways.  Over 500 million people are affected either directly or indirectly by the coral reefs. It is critical that we start reversing damage done by human activity, or our reefs may never recover.

Here is a short list of things you can do to help protect the reefs.

  1. Conserve water: The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our oceans.
  2. Help reduce pollution: Walk, bike or ride the bus. Fossil fuel emissions from cars and industry raise lead to ocean warming which causes mass-bleaching of corals and can lead to widespread destruction of reefs.
  3. Use only ecological or organic fertilizers: Although you may live thousands of miles from a coral reef ecosystem, these products flow into the water system, pollute the ocean, and can harm coral reefs and marine life.
  4. Dispose of your trash properly: Don’t leave unwanted fishing lines or nets in the water or on the beach. Any kind of litter pollutes the water and can harm the reef and the fish.
  5. Plant a tree: Trees reduce runoff into the oceans. You will also contribute to reversing the warming of our planet and the rising temperatures of our oceans.
  6. Practice safe and responsible diving and snorkeling: Do not touch the reef or anchor your boat on the reef. Contact with the coral will damage the delicate coral animals, and anchoring on the reef can kill it, so look for sandy bottom or use moorings if available.
  7. Volunteer for a coral reef cleanup: You don’t live near a coral reef? Then do what many people do with their vacation: visit a coral reef. Spend an afternoon enjoying the beauty of one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Earth.

Visit our gift shop for reef and conservation items