TNC also has a reef adoption program

Crawdaddy Hale crawdaddyhale at
Thu Aug 24 15:00:36 EDT 2000

:  Jim Hendee <hendee at>
CC:  coral-list at, Greg Johnson <buntforhit at> 
Save Address
Subject:  Re: Adopt a Reef question
Date:  Sat, 19 Aug 2000 22:42:09 -0700

Reef adoption through "RESCUE THE REEF" is also offered by the international 
non-profit land trust THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

Did you know...
Coral reefs are considered the "rainforests of the ocean"?

Corals are animals, not plants, made up of thousands of living organisms 
called polyps?

Corals produce a natural sunscreen which chemists are developing to market 
in Australia?

Corals' porous limestone skeletons have been used for bone grafts in humans?


French Angel Fish, Little Cayman Island photo by William Garvin


The sad news is...Reefs are being destroyed by pollution, over-fishing, 
anchor damage, and destructive fishing practices like dynamiting and use of 
toxic chemicals. This fragile environment is sending an SOS to anyone who 
will listen. Fish populations are already down. Coral growth is slowing. If 
we don't help them, they'll be lost...forever.

How can you help? Join the Rescue the Reef program.


Why does The Nature Conservancy sponsor reefs for adoption? Coral reefs are 
a beautiful and very important marine ecosystem which, like rainforests, 
protect a wide diversity of species. Reefs are home to one quarter of all 
marine species and we are still learning about the importance of reefs to 
land and human life. The Rescue the Reef program permits individuals to do 
something direct and positive to protect our reef habitats. It puts into 
action the Conservancy's message that there are real opportunities for 
individuals to make a difference. By establishing the connection between 
concerned individuals and the area they want to protect, The Nature 
Conservancy offers the opportunity to save threatened reefs.

May I visit the reef habitat I protect? The Nature Conservancy is working to 
protect reefs around the world, and we will tell you where your reef habitat 
is located. While reefs such as the Florida Keys are easily accessible, 
others are in remote areas of the world and may be ill-equipped for visitors 
- so it is not always possible to visit the region. In addition, the health 
of an ecosystem is often dependent on its inaccessibility. The Nature 
Conservancy does, however, sponsor a wide range of trips to reefs and other 
ecosystems. You may contact the Conservancy for information about our 
International Trips Program.

How will my money be used? The money you send for Rescue the Reef will be 
used to protect selected threatened reef habitats. Funds go to coral 
protection work in the Florida Keys, the Caribbean and the Pacific, 
including the costs of scientific and diver programs to identify and save 
rare species. In addition, a wide range of activities are financed, from 
installing mooring buoys to reduce boat damage, to hiring and training park 
rangers, conducting environmental education programs, and developing 
environmentally compatible methods of resource use that do not destroy the 
reef. Your contribution to Rescue the Reef signifies a commitment to finance 
the crucial protection of these areas. Your gift is tax-deductible.

Who will own or manage the reef habitat? The Nature Conservancy never takes 
reef habitat out of local control. We are committed to developing the local 
capacity to manage natural ecosystems and the resources to permanently 
protect areas that are threatened. All conservation programs we support are 
monitored by the Conservancy and are carried out by local conservationists 
in private and public conservation organizations. The reef you protect will 
be managed by a local private conservation group or may become part of a 
marine park or reserve protected by the government.

What does my Deed signify? It is an honorary deed only. It does not signify 
ownership but something much more important: your commitment to do something 
specific and tangible to save a critical and threatened ecosystem: the coral 
reef communities of tropical waters.


Anemone, Bonaire, Caribbean photo by William Garvin


How can I find out about the reef I protect? Once you protect a reef, The 
Nature Conservancy will send you information about the area where it is 
located. This will include information about new discoveries of marine 
plants and animals, as well as the work being done to protect the area. Two 
or three times a year, you'll receive our newsletter, Global Currents 
describing the focus and successes of our conservation efforts.

How can I be sure that the reef I rescue is really being protected? The 
Nature Conservancy works hard to carefully choose our projects and partners. 
The reef you protect is located in a key area where a real opportunity 
exists to identify endangered species and establish lasting protection. In 
Global Currents, you will be able to read about the actual results that are 
being achieved with your investment. If the Conservancy is working there, 
you can be sure there is an excellent chance of success.

How did you arrive at $35 for rescuing a reef habitat? We have developed a 
specific budget for each Rescue the Reef site. Each budget includes the 
expenses for the project such as: scientific and diver programs, mooring and 
coral protection safeguards, community education and reef management. 
Analyzing the budgets of past and current successful projects, we have 
calculated the median figure for funding protection efforts for a "typical" 
reef habitat.

How does Rescue the Reef differ from other marine protection efforts? Coral 
reef destruction is caused by so many different factors - many of them 
originating on land - that a wide variety of efforts are needed to fight the 
problem. Lobbying, education and public awareness have all been utilized to 
attack reef destruction, and many other kinds of efforts are needed. The 
Rescue the Reef program has one main purpose: to provide funds to actively 
protect threatened coral reefs and the species that depend on them.

Why should we care about reefs? We are only just learning how much we rely 
on reefs and other natural ecosystems. We know that reefs are an important 
human food source and provide at least ten percent of all fish consumed by 
people. Reef species are being widely researched as the basis for important 
medical products, especially for cures of diseases like cancer and AIDS. 
Reefs also provide barriers from coastal erosion and provide key recreation 
and vacation areas. Reefs are often home to as many plants and animals as 
are rainforests, and reef habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Yes! I'd like to join the Rescue the Reef Program

Copyright 1999 The Nature Conservancy

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