What you do (or don’t do) can make a difference.
Dive In! Get involved in events in your community. Your involvement can make a big difference.
- Don’t Use Chemically Enhanced Pesticides and Fertilizers. Although you may live thousands of miles from a coral reef ecosystem, these products end up in the watershed and may ultimately impact the waters that support coral.
- Be An Informed Consumer. Consider carefully the coral objects that you buy for decoration. Many reef souvenirs are unsustainably or illegally harvested.
- Ask Your Waiter. Choose seafood from those fisheries and fish farms that have the least impact on the ocean and its inhabitants.
- Pump It - Don’t Dump It! Use sewage pumpout facilities and biodegradable bilge cleaner. Never discharge bilge water at the reef.
- Use Reef Mooring Buoys or anchor in sandy areas away from coral and seagrasses so that anchor, chain, and line do not contact or damage coral or seagrasses.
- Know Before You Go! Carry and use nautical charts and know the draft of your vessel. If you run aground: STOP! Do not try to motor off. Wait until high tide to remove the vessel. Call for assistance when necessary.
- Avoid Wildlife Disturbance. Stay 100 yards or more offshore; keep speed, noise, and wakes to a minimum near mangroves.
- Dive Responsibly. Coral-friendly divers have good buoyancy control. The lightest touch with hands or equipment can damage sensitive coral polyps or remove the protective mucus layer.
- To avoid contact with the ocean bottom, divers should only use the weight needed and practice proper buoyancy control. Areas that appear empty may support new growth if left undisturbed.
- Avoid wearing gloves and touching or collecting marine life. Some species, such as queen conch and cushion sea star are protected, and cannot be taken.