There is no doubt that the ocean is effected everyday and there is not just one solution to fixing what humans have done. Although, there are things that are being done to help. Many organizations and foundations have arose to help save the marine life and the ocean ecosystems. Below are a few I felt make a large impact on ocean conservation.
The Coral Reef Alliance is an organization that partner with communities that live close to the reefs to help protect and restore the marine life ecosystems. This organization’s work is focused in Hawaii, Indonesia, Mexico and Fiji.
Mission Statement: To Unite Communities to Save Coral Reefs
How they help:
Reduce threats to reefs locally- Focusing on eliminating water pollution, prevent over fishing in the community, and control tourism (cleanup of waste and protection of marine life in and around the oceans)
Help benefit the community– The coral reef alliance provides training on sustainability and conservation to communities, so that everyone can be aware and help contribute to saving the reefs. They also help communities clean up the oceans, for example they donated trash cans so that the trash from the beaches and ocean can be picked up. This organization along with conserving the ocean, donates money and gives grants to students in countries such as Indonesia to attend school and have teaching resources available. Their belief is, that conservation seems like a luxury to have in less fortunate countries, so if they are able to provide them with the resources they need to help ecosystems, it will turn into a necessity.
Reef Management– In order to protect the coral reefs there needs to be laws and rules established to help ensure the protection. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are established to restrict human activity around the area being conserved, and the coral reef alliance help ensure that there are funds, training and resources to have these people available.
Sustainable Tourism– Voluntary standards from people of the coral reef alliance were put together to dive shops, hotels, tourist attractions and beaches to help ensure that the tourism is sustainable. Also ensuring there is no humane contact with the coral when there are divers in the water.
The coral reef alliance is very effective with all aspects of their organization from ensuring marine protected areas, to educating people, to funding to save the reefs. They offer volunteer opportunities at their main headquarters in Oakland.
Follow them on twitter! Twitter handle: @coral_org https://twitter.com/coral_org
Check out this organizations most recent blog posts! http://coral.org/blog/
This organization is the largest international organization for ocean conservation and restoration
Mission Statement: “Dedicated to protecting and restoring the worlds oceans on a global scale. Oceana seeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy, and abundant as they once were.
How they help:
Science-based fishery management– Over fishing is a huge problem resulting in extinction and endangered species of fish such as blue and yellow fin tuna, cod, sea bass and many more. A science-based fishing method establishes catch limit, reduces by catch, and protects the habitat.
Oceana has went on numerous expeditions to various countries to help save and protect the ocean and marine life
Chile’s Juan Fernandez– In 2009, the team went to Chile with the goal of banning bottom trawling (large nets that sweep up anything in its path) in the marine ecosystem. In 2012 and after years of campaigning, the Chilean government banned trawling from 118 seaports in Chile.
Oregon Coast Expedition– In 2013, Oceana went to the coast to observe and photograph sea corals and sponges that are currently under protected areas. Oceana proposed 1,413 square miles off the coast of Oregon be protected, to ensure that marine life such as corals, sponges and invertebrates go undisturbed with events like bottom trawling. These areas build upon bubble gum corals, glass sponges, black and gorgonian corals.
Canary Island Expedition– In 2014, the island El Hierro was explored with the goal of mapping and gathering information about seamounts just north of the island, which helps them gain knowledge about the areas and protection measures they need to take regarding the marine life. Oceana also proposed the protection off of this island and El Heirro is now the first island in the world to use 100% renewable energies, which is extremely beneficial to the environment.
On Oceana’s website, there is a tab “Take action”, which are ways people can help and support the organization and the ocean. They also have a blog http://oceana.org/blog, where you can check out their most recent stories and updates regarding their organization.
Follow them on twitter! @Oceana https://twitter.com/Oceana
Save our Seas organization was established for the purpose of research, education, and conservation of the ocean. This foundation has funded more then 200 projects in over 50 countries world wide.
“As long as there are people who care, we can and will make a difference.”
How they help:
Research- Many projects are put in place by Save our Sea such as researching the abundance of elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, and other cartilaginous fishes) in Malaysia, which helps them put in place policies for conservation and protection of these marine animals. Another type of research that is conducted with this organization is looking at how shark presence influences sea turtle habitat use. This study focuses on habitat use, home range and movement of the logger head turtles in areas of high shark density and how they can co-exist so habitat are not disturbed. Their main goal is to keep whatever marine life is left, still living and thriving.
Education- Save our Sea provides grants and funds to projects that are dedicated to education of conservation and protection of marine megafauna, which protect the oceans giants like sharks and rays. This organization also offers SOSF Island school that focuses on education and awareness of the environment and a shark education center.
The Coral Restoration Foundation’s sole dedication is to create offshore nurseries and restoration programs for threatened coral species. Through scientific techniques, they were able to grow thousands of coral and nurse them until putting them back out in the wild for a natural recovery.
Threats- Sense the 1970’s, there has been a great decline in reefs in Florida and Caribbean areas. Specifically, the stag horn and elk horn corals have declines, which effects the other coral in the surrounding areas at risk.
Nursery– In their nursery they have many different species of coral: Stag horn, elk horn, boulder star corals, blade fire, pillar corals and many more. The nursery provides nutrients and a well rounded ecosystem for these corals because they are so important to balance the ecosystem in the natural ocean. Corals have so many benefits in a marine ecosystem such as nursing grounds for smaller organisms, breaking up the choppy waters when a large storm hits the coast and over 25% of the ocean’s organisms need coral to survive.
Coral Outplanting– This organization is unique in the way that they bring the corals back into their natural habitat after they have been nursed. Once the coral has been in the nursery for 6-9 months, they bring it to a reef restoration site where they use a non-toxic marine epoxy to reattach the nurse corals to the original coral outplanting. This is amazing and a highly effective way of saving the corals. This foundation made history in 2012 with the first nursery-raised elkhorn restoration, and outplanted on the reef of Key Largo.
This foundations offers volunteer opportunities along with internships that can be applied for. They also have dive programs and underwater volunteering. Follow them on twitter for more information! https://twitter.com/coralcrf
These are only a few of the many organizations out there in the world. They all have a common goal in saving our oceans and together we can help make a change.