giving coral reefs a future

our mission: creating and sharing the tools and technologies to sustainably restore coral reefs worldwide

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Why coral reefs need our help

  • 'Last coral standing', but a spoonge is already overgrowing it (Paul Selvaggio)
  • Reefs as wave breaker in the Bahamas (Margaret Miller)
  • A reef bursting with life - Coral Triangle (Bart Shepherd)
  • Degraded reef (Paul Selvaggio)
  • Caribbean reef - not pristine, but healthy (Tom Moore)
  • Adult, raised elkhorn coral on the reef (Paul Selvaggio)
  • 'Coral Cemetery', Buck Island (Richard Ross)
Tropical coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems on earth, giving shelter to thousands of animal species. Many millions of people depend on fisheries, tourism and coastal protection provided by healthy coral reefs. Yet today, coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate all around the globe

Corals build the reef structure and provide the basis for a functioning coral reef ecosystem. Without corals, reefs will degrade and vanish within years. At present, coral reefs are facing multiple stresses such as pollution, overfishing, and, overall, the ongoing climate change―consequently raising sea water temperatures and causing coral bleaching worldwide. As a result, over 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have died in the last 30 years and up to 90 percent may die within the next century—very few pristine coral reefs still exist.

The impact of our changing climate on coral reefs was manifested by the third global bleaching event in 2015/16. This event has caused a mass die-off of corals; for example along the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, there is a clear pattern of severe bleaching events increasing in frequency, to a point where there is now inadequate intervals for corals to recover in between.

A world without corals means not only will we have a less diverse and less beautiful ocean, but it will also be an economic disaster for many people—predominantly in developing countries. Fisheries and tourism provide important livelihoods that directly depend on healthy coral reefs. Reefs are nurseries for many fish species, including commercial ones, and attract millions of tourists every year. Coral reefs offer natural coastal protection, especially in areas frequently impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms. The great biodiversity of coral reefs serves as an important source for new medicinal remedies.

Altogether, coral reefs comprise an area of almost 300 000 km² and are estimated to have an economic value of US$100 000 - 600 000 per km², thus providing one of the most high-value ecosystems. Coral reefs are among the most complex ecosystems and are revealing the degraded status of coastal environments. Their alarming status represents the poor health of our oceans and if coral reefs disappear other marine realms will follow.

Corals have existed for more than 400 million years; yet stresses and changes from human activities are happening faster than their ability to adapt. Corals may not survive the intensity and swiftness of these ongoing changes. A matter of vital importance is sexual reproduction of corals; as it is for most species. Sexual reproduction maintains genetic diversity and, in turn, enables species to adapt to a naturally dynamic environment in the long-term. Corals under stress are likely to stop sexual reproduction, which puts their survival at risk.


SECORE is working to give coral reefs a future.

Apart from urgent action to mitigate climate change on a global scale, it is increasingly evident that traditional conservation measures are inadequate to ensure the survival of this essential ecosystem. If we want to give coral reefs a fighting chance to survive and thrive for generations to come, we need active restoration measures to complement coral reef conservation.

Together with our lead partners, we initiated the Global Coral Restoration effort in 2017 to accelerate the development of new tools, methods and strategies to make coral restoration viable on larger thus meaningful scales.

SECORE's mission is to create and share the tools and technologies to sustainably restore coral reefs worldwide.

You can make a difference: your donation is vital for us to continue where we excel - creating the tools to sustainably restore coral reefs around the world.

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Meet our supporters

SECORE's lead partners are:

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
The Builders Initiative
The Ocean Foundation

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