The Beacon

Now Entering the Year of the Reef

It takes coral centuries to grow into the beautiful reef gardens that sprawl beneath the sea - but only a moment to destroy them. Destructive fishing methods like bottom trawling as well as pollution and coastal development have put many reefs at risk.

To increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and to further conserve these precious ecosystems, the International Coral Reef Initiative has designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef!

For the last two summers, our catamaran, Ranger has been patrolling the Mediterranean, documenting marine species and habitat. These brilliant underwater photographs are used as part of our research to convince governments to enact and enforce policies to protect our oceans. Please do your part to protect our corals and celebrate this special year.

    * Be an informed consumer: Make sure any marine organisms you purchase have been collected in an ecologically sound manner.

    * Don't dump waste: Whether it's in the form of sewage or run-off from your front lawn, it drains directly to the ocean.

    * Support our efforts to stop destructive trawling by making a donation today.

Destructive trawls and dredges use large, heavy nets kept open by doors, weighing as much as several tons each, that drag across large areas of seafloor to catch fish that live on or near the ocean floor.

Oceana is campaigning to protect deep sea corals and sponges and other vulnerable seafloor habitat, and to prevent bottom trawling from expanding into new areas. Learn More >>

They may not move a whole lot, but corals are actually tiny animals, invertebrates that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. They can be found in waters the world over: warm, cold, deep or shallow. They provide food and shelter for myriad marine creatures and endless opportunities for discovery among scuba divers and snorkelers.

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