“The oceans deserve our respect and care, but you have to know something before you can care about it” (Sylvia Earle)… How about we start learning & caring right now?

10 Easy Reefs Rules

To observe when snorkeling, diving, or swimming!

Coral reef ecosystems are among the most biologically diverse and economically valuable ecosystems on Earth. Worldwide coral reefs now attract millions of tourists annually. Respecting the habitat and the welfare of the wildlife is the number one ethical rule for anyone enjoying reef tourism. It is easy to get caught up in a moment of excitement or ignorance and forget to behave mindfully. Here, we are getting into further details and highlighting special considerations and requirements when you dive, snorkel or swim in these beautiful yet very fragile habitats.

Luckily, a little reef etiquette goes a long way in preventing damage to these amazing places. Keep in mind that the general EwA Wildness Etiquette  also applies to ‘Reefing’.

Knowing is Caring: Learn before you go. Visit reefs well prepared so as to minimize your impact, and maximize safety for anyone (and wildlife included) as well as for the pleasure of everyone. Enjoy!

#DYK —The Status of Coral Reefs in the World ➔

Coral reefs, along with seagrass beds, mangrove habitats and other tropical marine environments, support the highest marine biodiversity in the world (25%) [PL11]. More than 500 million people worldwide depend on them for food, storm protection, jobs, and recreation. Their resources and services are worth an estimated 375 billion dollars each year, yet they cover less than 1% of the Earth's surface.

The present interglacial period (the Anthropocene) has been exceptionally favorable to coral reefs for thousands of years until the recent three or four decades, in which the living coral cover has abruptly declined about 53% in the western Atlantic, about 40% in the general Indo-Pacific, and about 50% on the Great Barrier Reef. Reefs are presently threatened by increasing CO2. Although there have been few if any, extinctions, reefs are declining in topographic complexity and ecosystem services. This is most likely the trajectory for future decades and reflects the norm for much of the geologic history of coral reefs… [HT17]

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Home / Engage / Species & Habitats Focused Etiquettes / The Reefs Rules
◊ Note that this Etiquette is and will remain a work in progress. If there is anything else you would like to see added, please let us know and we’ll do our best to include it. Let’s be Earthwise Aware. Let’s enjoy and protect wildlife responsibly! Thanks for your support!

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