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September 2013: Blenny Takes Photo Contest Gold/ Reef Leader's Ripple Effect/ Young Corals Sturdy But Reefs Still Threatened/ Beefing Up Reefs/ Hot Off the Press!/ Adventurous Travelers Wanted

A secretary blenny (Acanthemblemaria maria) peeks out of its tunnel in a golden coral head; photo by Jim Van Gogh
Blenny Takes Photo Contest Gold

The elusive secretary blenny (Acanthemblemaria maria) has long been a challenge for underwater photographers. The tiny, bug-eyed fish resides in a burrow, rarely revealing more than its head and retreating from view at the first sign of danger. But CORAL supporter Jim Van Gogh was patient. Diving at Knip, off the northwest coast of the Caribbean island of Curaçao, he waited for his subject to become comfortable with the cameraman hovering outside its tunnel and captured the winning image in our September E-Current photo contest. Do you have a coral reef photo you're proud of? Enter it in our next photo contest by October 15, and your work could be featured in the November edition of E-Current! Download Jim's Winning Photo Enter the Contest

Eduardo Patiño Gonzalez says CORAL's Coral Reef Leadership training has changed the way he approaches conservation; photo by CORAL staff
Reef Leader's Ripple Effect

Eduardo Patiño Gonzalez knows a lot about wildlife and the environment—he’s led ecotours to see whales, sea turtles, birds, and even monarch butterflies in Mexico for 20 years. But after taking CORAL’s Coral Reef Leadership training—designed to make sure marine recreation providers are not harming reefs—in 2010, he felt transformed. “I thought ecotourism was a good thing, but [through the training] I came to see that it had impacts. The training changed my vision.” Learn more about Eduardo and how he’s worked with CORAL over the last few years to inspire others in his field to become conservationists, too. Read More

Although coral reefs are vulnerable to ocean acidification, coral larvae appeared unaffected by lower pH in a recent study; photo via Wikimedia commons
Young Corals Sturdy But Reefs Still Threatened

Some good news for at least one life stage of corals? In a new study in which researchers at the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies bubbled CO2 through seawater to simulate the ocean acidification predicted as a result of climate change, coral larvae survived just fine. But other studies have shown that when corals begin to build reefs, laying down their calcium carbonate skeletons, increased acidification will slow their growth and make them more fragile. Read More

CORAL's training programs help reefs become more resilient to a changing global climate; photo by CORAL staff
Beefing Up Reefs

The climate is changing at a pace “orders of magnitude” faster than at any other time in the last 65 million years, according to new findings by Stanford researchers Noah Diffenbaugh and Christopher Field published in the journal Science. For the past several years, participants in CORAL’s Building Reef Resilience to Climate Change program have been teaching new reef conservationists in their areas what they can do to help make reefs more resilient—taking action to stop overfishing, monitoring reefs, or responding to bleaching events and other threats. To date, our leaders have offered trainings in Indonesia, Egypt, Fiji, Mozambique, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, Bonaire, and the British Virgin Islands. Read More

Our 2014 calendar features breathtaking photography of coral reef species, including this tropical striped triplefin blenny (Helcogramma striata), from around the world; photo by Nick Hobgood
Hot Off the Press!

2013 is almost over, and our 2014 limited-edition calendar—the most outstanding yet, thanks in large part to the many talented photographers who donated their beautiful images—is now in print. Donors who have made a single gift of $50 or more this year and our Friends of the Reef monthly supporters will receive their calendars this month. Other E-Current subscribers can receive their copies by making a donation today at The calendar actually starts with the last quarter of 2013, so you can begin celebrating the beauty and diversity of coral reefs right away. Thank you! Read More

To further refine our conservation strategies in Indonesia, CORAL is asking for help from worldly travelers; photo by CORAL staff
Adventurous Travelers Wanted

As part of our ongoing work in Indonesia, CORAL is conducting a survey to learn more about travelers’ willingness to journey to remote and exotic destinations. The findings of the survey will help local communities in Indonesia build sustainable and profitable ecotourism businesses—which will in turn provide an additional incentive to preserve coral reefs. Please take a few minutes to support our coral reef conservation projects in Indonesia by participating in our survey now. All who participate—and provide contact information—will be entered into a random drawing for one of our stunning 2014 calendars and a CORAL polo shirt. Send us your survey by September 30 for the chance to win! Read More

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The Coral Reef Alliance
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San Francisco, CA 94104
United States