From seahorses and sharks to oysters and octopi, coral reefs teem with life. Over 25% of all sea life centers around reefs, which is rather incredible considering coral reefs only cover about 0.2% of the seafloor. Because of their immeasurable biodiversity and productivity, coral reefs are nicknamed the “rainforests of the sea.” These vibrant ocean metropolises are the foundation for life underwater, and rightly so, as reefs themselves are alive.

“Coral reefs represent some of the world’s most spectacular beauty spots, but they are also the foundation of marine life: without them many of the sea’s most exquisite species will not survive.”Scheherazade Goldsmith

All reefs started out as a single coral polyp— a soft, tiny animal  that gets its energy from the sun. Guided by the sounds of marine life, thousands of floating polyps reunite on a nearby hard surface, together forming a coral colony. The coral reefs we see today are like living museums— the reflection of thousands of years of history. Many, like the Great Barrier Reef, are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of their central role in so many global cultures and our collective natural heritage.

The rich biodiversity of coral reefs translates directly into food security, livelihoods, medicines, and a plethora of other critical human benefits. Yet, despite their undeniable value, coral reefs face severe degradation from a wide array of intensifying threats. Coastal development, overfishing, and ocean acidification challenge their very survival. Today, over 75% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened.


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Dear Representative,

Currently, coral reefs protect over 93,000 miles of shoreline in more than 100 different countries and territories. Coral reefs can protect against severe storms and erosion. Over 25% of all sea life comes to the reef to breed, feed, and seek shelter. I am writing to you as a supporter of legislation that will further protect the coral reefs from the various threats they face. Coral reefs not only have special significance to me personally, but they are critically important to the marine ecosystem, tourism, and the blue economy. Unfortunately, over 75% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened. Coral reefs are threatened by unsustainable development, reckless shipping, ocean acidification, climate change, illegal fishing, plastic trash, and dirty energy.

Protecting coral reefs requires urgent and global action, and we can set an example for the rest of the world. I urge you to enact and support legislation that protects and defends coral reefs such as marine protected areas and working towards stricter policies on boating and tourism around coral reefs. Please also vote against legislation that would worsen the threats that coral reefs already face, like coastal development.

Thank you for representing my views and for being an Ocean Hero!


Thank you, friend.

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