Hope for Reefs is a global initiative led by the California Academy of Sciences to research and restore critical coral reef systems.
Considered the “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs are some of the most biologically diverse, economically valuable, and beautiful ecosystems on Earth. They cover less than 1% of the ocean but contain more than 25% of marine species. Coral reefs provide critical habitat to vast marine communities—from the tiny coral polyps that make up the reef’s foundation to the colorful fish and sharks that live among them. Coral reefs are integral to the livelihoods and well-being of billions of people worldwide, providing protection from erosion and generating income through ecotourism and fishing.
Today, we risk losing these valuable ecosystems. Nearly 75% of the world’s coral reefs are currently threatened by the combined impacts of overfishing, habitat destruction, water pollution, climate change, and ocean acidification. In fact, we’ve already lost at least a quarter of the world’s reefs, with another 30% predicted to die in the next thirty years. Current efforts to save coral reefs are lagging far behind their rate of destruction.
In response, we launched the Hope for Reefs initiative in 2016 to explore, explain, and sustain the world’s coral reefs by making fundamental breakthroughs in coral reef biology; developing new conservation solutions and restoration techniques; and sharing what we know through innovative exhibits and educational media programs.
With key breakthroughs now, we can ensure a healthier, more hopeful future for these vital ecosystems.
To follow or share news about this Academy initiative, use the #HopeForReefs hashtag on social media.