Why should you help? The importance of coral reefs

 Human activity has dealt a massive blow to our oceans. Pollution from human activities and industry, damaging fishing practices, the usage of large nets in oceans, and climate change have all brought nothing but harm to coral reefs, which are epicenters of biodiversity in our oceans. They are home to thousands upon thousands of aquatic species, and are imperative to the health of our oceans and planet in its entirety. They also bring about many benefits for humans, as they allow for fisheries to operate, albeit that they are acting sustainably. These fisheries bring in large amounts of both food and income. Many countries also rely on them for recreation and tourism. On top of this, they act as barriers to water-based natural disasters and storms, proving to be invaluable to coastal communities. As residents of this planet, it should be our responsibility to uphold these precious areas, as they not only highly benefit us, but thousands, perhaps even millions of species. 

How can you help?

 This brings about the question? How can you help? To start off, one can join an ocean conservation community, such as here at MCCR. There are countless communities and volunteer opportunities that one can involve themselves with. They can also intern with one of these groups, another opportunity that MCCR provides. Not only is there MCCR, but as stated there are countless groups dedicated to the protection of our oceans, and are typically oriented with a certain location, such as MCCR is with Costa Rica. If one lives near water, there is very likely a group there dedicated to the protection and advocacy of that resource. One can also reduce their carbon footprint, as the process of climate change has been bringing about increasing temperatures, damaging our reefs via coral bleaching. They can also lower plastic use as well, as multitudes of plastic find their way into our oceans every year. The consumption of environmentally friendly products also helps in the protection of our oceans, as chemicals often find their way into our oceans as well. 




 Additionally, one can also find out how to support sustainable fisheries, as a large contributor to the damage of our oceans is through unsustainable fishing practices. One should also be mindful of the products that they buy, an example being that many souvenirs may contain objects gathered from marine life. One must be mindful of how these parts were acquired. Education is also a very important way to contribute to the conservation of our oceans. Being educated on topics and spreading awareness is key to having more and more join the fight of protecting our oceans. One can also be involved with campaigns that spread awareness and shoot for community involvement, a practice that MCCR participates in as well. Again, some of the most effective ways to help participate in the protection of our sacred oceans is by being involved yourself. Joining and participating in groups/campaigns that involve themselves in the conservation of wildlife, coral reefs, sustainable practices, and other useful avenues can help one be involved in the field of marine conservation. One can always look to their own local areas for these groups, as they are typically numerous. If one wishes, they can even participate from a distance by donating or getting involved remotely, such as with MCCR and the remote internships that are offered.  As previously stated, it is also important to be educated, as the more knowledgeable one is about the topic, the more they can help and educate others.

Our Oceans

 Protecting our oceans is a vital job in the world of conservation. Not only do they support our way of life, keep our world moving, and protect us, but they also serve as a habitat for an innumerable species on our planet. The destruction of ocean ecosystems would be devastating for practically all life on Earth, however you have the power to help protect them. 

Written by Michael Basharis

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