Coral Reef Alliance

Bill Mosher
Season 03
About this non-profit:

Coral reefs comprise some of the most spectacular collections of fish and plant life anywhere on earth. Today, tourists and those who make their living in and around reef areas have irreparably damaged many reefs by carelessness and deliberate disregard of their extreme fragility. But Stephen Colwell, founder of the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is committed not only to widespread conservation efforts. but to education. His vision is to tap the resources of divers and snorkelers to help reverse the trend toward coral reef devastation worldwide. In Hawaii, we see the effects on the undersea world of population growth, coastal development and a high concentration of divers. The International Year of the Coral Reef, 1997, offers a unique opportunity to greatly expand educational efforts and to implement new initiatives. In the new nation of Palau, the Palau Conservation Society (PCS), a member of CORAL, has begun an extensive coral conservation program implemented by Noah Idechong. PCS is working to build grassroots awareness and establish standards to support their native reefs in the face of a growing tourist trade. In so doing, they enable tourists to become participants in reef protection. This episode connects the long-term interests of divers and other "viewers" of the reefs who may live thousands of miles away, with the challenges that groups like PCS face every day-from monitoring reef use to working with community leaders to reducing land-based sources of pollution and developing alternative income-generating projects that do not adversely affect the ecologically essential reefs.

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