Still not convinced about global warming and climate change eehh? How about this not-so-fun-fact: In 1998, an estimated 16% of the world’s shallow-water reefs died due to excess heat from the sun. This year the worlds eco-system was put under stress again, as extreme heat bleached (and killed) many coral reefs. Scientists are saying that this is an ‘early indicator of the ecological distress on the planet caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases’.

I know I know, your rapid-fire inner thoughts may go something like this:

Does this mean I need to find a new snorkeling spot? Where will my grandkids go scuba-diving? Wait, does that mean those magnificent beautiful fish will die? What about the kind that tastes good like Mahi Mahi and shellfish? Not lobster! Lobster is delicious. Will they be extinct? Doesn’t that mean that other species will die also? There might be a food-chain reaction. Well, at least nothing crazy will happen for awhile. At least not in my lifetime.

Sorry, Charlie. It is expected that by 2050 95% of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral will be dead. That is 40 years from now, not so far off.

Now this wouldn’t be a very good blog post if I just spewed out depressing facts without offering up some suggestions on how to turn this around. What can you do to change this? Well, how dirty do you want to get your hands? Here is a solution for everyone:

The Coral Reef Alliance is the only international organization solely working on saving the coral reefs. Below is their overarching principles on how to help them save the reefs.

1. Reduce harmful chemicals in your home & garden. Reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers by leaving grass clippings on your lawn and composting your food and yard waste to fertilize your garden. When chemical fertilizers get into water systems, they can cause algal blooms.

2.  Purchase organic, locally grown produce. When you buy food produced near your home, less energy is used to transport food to your area. Pesticides can eventually drain into the ocean, so organic food is better for the environment.

3. Think about how much packaging is used in your products. The more packaging, the more waste.

Small suggestions that can make a whale-sized difference. A final shout out of thanks to organizations such as the Coral Reef Alliance and the Coral Reef Monitoring Network for making moves on the coral reef frontier.

Source: NYT and Coral.org

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