Simple Ways to Protect
Thanks to nature documentaries, vacations, and the internet, many of us understand that coral reefs are important and fragile places that need our help if they are going to endure. What’s less clear is how we might be able to help on an individual level, whether we live near a reef or have not even visited one before. Here are some important things you can do in your everyday life to help save the ocean and coral reefs, and make sure they stick around on our planet a little bit longer:
5 Quick Tips
1. Recycle and properly dispose of trash. It’s a sad fact of modern life that if it doesn’t go to a landfill, most of our trash ends up in the ocean. That’s why recycling is so important. Trash has severely deleterious effects on fragile ecosystems such as coral reefs, so something as simple as making sure your trash is in the proper receptacle and you engage in some kind of recycling will prevent at least your own waste from making it to the ocean.
2. Don’t fertilize your lawn. Not only is recycling important, but it is also crucial that you are careful when fertilizing your lawn. This is especially true if you live in a coastal area; the collective runoff from chemical fertilizers hits marine ecosystems like a nutrient bomb, encouraging huge blooms of algae that decimate coral reefs. No matter how far away from the ocean you are, however, remember that whatever you put on your lawn washes off into local water supplies and can have negative ecological effects.
3. Make sure your town has a proper plan to handle stormwater runoff, especially if you live in a coastal community. Like runoff with fertilizer, stormwater also has the potential to deliver huge nutrient loads to coral reefs, causing them to be smothered by algae. In order to help save the ocean and coral reefs, it is critical to make sure that your community has an environmentally safe method for disposing of stormwater.
4. Use reef-safe sunscreen when swimming around corals; most hotels and resorts near reefs today have some information about which products are safest to use around coral reefs.
5. Verify the origins of aquarium fish, and never buy living coral. Reef species are simply too endangered to be in aquarium tanks, so avoid trying to recreate natural coral communities in artificial environments. If you want to see the beauty of coral reefs up close or are interested in learning more about saving the ocean and coral reefs, contact Alpha Submarine Adventures!