Take The Coral Pledge
Prompted by this year’s coral bleaching event and threats to our fragile reefs, staff with the state Division of Aquatic Resources last week introduced The Coral Pledge.
It’s a common sense, six-step reminder of how everyone can help by not adding stress to coral reefs during this time of bleaching.
While everybody is encouraged to take the pledge, it is targeted to the visitor and tourism industry.
“These companies host millions of visitors each year. Many of them spend a lot of time in the ocean, and many are not aware of the simple things they can do to avoid injuring or killing fragile corals,” explained DAR Administrator Brian Neilson.
The Coral Pledge highlights these six actions: Let Fish Protect Reefs, Corals Like Their Space, Stand on the Sand, Use Reef-Safe Sunscreen, Contain Any Chemicals, and Anchor Away from Reefs.
Bottom line: we need to better protect our reefs. Our coral is under siege from environmental factors – pollution and rising ocean temperatures are two major threats – but human activity in the ocean is manageable.
“The Coral Pledge incorporates easy to understand and apply tips about all of us doing everything possible to save our reefs. They are the very foundation of life in the ocean, and by extension, our island way of life,” said state Department of Land & Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case.
“Corals are an essential part of life in Hawaii. They support an abundance of life on our reefs, protect homes and businesses from storms and provide amazing beauty for people to enjoy.”
Visitor industry businesses should get on board and educate tourists. For more information, visit www.dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar.