Coral Reef Alliance | E-Current Newsletter
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July 2014: A Whale of a Photo / Are Parrotfish the Key to Healthy Reefs? / If You Need Another Reason to Support CORAL . . . / First Utila Conservation Fund Project Launched / Save the Date

Young humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae); photo by Jim van Gogh
A Whale of a Photo

For the second time in a row, Jim van Gogh has taken top honors in CORAL’s bimonthly photo contest! He captured this adorable baby humpback whale while diving in Silver Bank, just north of the Dominican Republic. Curious about the two-legged creatures it encountered while surfacing to breathe, the young whale stopped to investigate, and Jim got the shot.

The Dominican Republic declared Silver Bank a sanctuary for humpback whales, who migrate here to breed and give birth, in 1986. Since then, whale watching and swimming with the whales have become popular activities. If ever in the water with marine mammals, make sure to give them plenty of room (at least 100 yards), do not approach them directly, and never put yourself between a calf and its mother. Download Jim's Photo Enter the Contest

Parrotfish and other herbivores are key to healthy reef ecosystems; photo by CORAL staff
Are Parrotfish the Key to Healthy Reefs?

CORAL will be joining a host of partners in Maui later this month to mark the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area’s 5th birthday. As its name suggests, this protected area in western Maui specifically prohibits the taking of herbivores like parrotfish and sea urchins as a strategy for protecting the reef.

Turns out this same approach might be critical for protecting reefs in the Caribbean, at least according to a recent report published by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012 looked at data from more than 35,000 surveys at 90 locations throughout the Caribbean and came to the conclusion that protecting grazers is the key to saving reefs. CORAL Board member Dr. Nancy Knowlton and her husband Dr. Jeremy Jackson, the report’s lead author, discuss the report and what it means for the future of reefs around the world in a compelling summary video. Read the Report and Watch the Video

If You Need Another Reason to Support CORAL . . .

CORAL has once again received Charity Navigator’s top rating of 4-stars, reflecting our sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. We are honored to be among the elite charities to have received this stellar rating two years in a row—only 19% of the charities Charity Navigator reviews have accomplished this feat. Of course, we couldn’t have done this without the support of donors like you, so thank you! Now, help us keep our 4-star rating with a gift today. Donate to CORAL

UCF's posters dispayed in a local shop; photo by Lucie Brown
First Utila Conservation Fund Project Launched

Since 2012, CORAL has been working on the Honduran island of Utila to bring together conservation groups, local government officials, fisherman, and other community members to collectively address conservation priorities. One of our first tasks was creating a shared bank account; we then provided the initial funding for what is now called the Utila Conservation Fund.

We are happy to share that the first Utila Conservation Fund project was launched in June. The team created informative reef etiquette posters that have been distributed to local businesses. The graphics aim to educate tourists about the beautiful underwater world that Utila boasts and inspire ownership and pride among local residents. If you’re traveling to Utila for your next dive adventure, be sure to check them out! Read More

Save the Date

On September 20th, CORAL will be honoring our 20th anniversary with a special evening celebrating reefs and the power of community conservation. Mark your calendars to join us at San Francisco’s acclaimed California Academy of Sciences for a night of delicious food and drink, conversation with our international field team, and the awarding of the first CORAL Conservation Prize to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in driving forward local coral reef conservation efforts. Stay tuned for more information about the event and the inaugural CORAL Conservation Prize winner!

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Coral Reef Alliance
351 California Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, California 94104