Our Coral Reefs Are Dying, But We Can Help

steve simonsen coral
Coral off of Little St. James island – Photo by the amazingly talented Steve Simonsen

I watched an amazing documentary on Netflix last night called Chasing Coral. For those of you who haven’t heard about this film (it debuted on July 14th), it follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists as they try to discover and reveal why coral reefs throughout the world, including here in the US Virgin Islands, are dying.

Here are some pretty alarming facts from the documentary:

  • One fifth of the Great Barrier Reef died in 2006. That’s an astonishing number.
  • The temperature of the ocean has risen an average of two degrees celsius which has led to widespread coral bleaching i.e. death. It’s the equivalent of living with a constant fever.
  • Ninety-three percent of the heat trapped in the earth’s atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean. Without our oceans, the average air temperature would be 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why is this happening? Climate change. Something we can all help to fix.

Drink St. John is hosting a screening of Chasing Coral this Saturday, August 5th at 7 p.m. It will be shown on the big screen over the beach and between the palms – a perfect backdrop for this extremely important film. They will also be accepting donations for the Coral Restoration Fund. If you are on island this weekend, I strongly encourage you to attend.

Check out this pic that shows exactly what’s happening:

content_c1-Courtesy-of-The-Ocean-Agency---XL-Catlin-Seaview-Survey (1)

How alarming is that?

Here is the film’s trailer. Please check it out:

And here’s a bit of what Variety had to say about Chasing Coral:

One foolproof way to make an audience cry is to tell the story of a dog who dies. (Sure, it’s manipulative, but I’m not sure I’d want to be friends with someone who sat dry-eyed through “Marley & Me.”) Yet did you ever think you’d shed a tear for dying coral? In “Chasing Coral,” the winner of this year’s Audience Award for documentary at Sundance, we see the coral beds of the world’s oceans in all their wavy phosphorescent delicacy and flesh-bulb splendor. They’re like flowers, brains, suction cups, tubular orifices; a lot of them come in sparkly psychedelic colors that look too wild to fit onto a rainbow.

Then we see the same coral beds after they’ve expired: vast stretches of stone-gray fossil, the former tentacles reaching up like dead fingers. Anyone who has been snorkeling has probably encountered coral graveyards like these, but only now does it occur to you that you’re seeing not undersea “rock formations” but skeletons. Corpses. Corals may have the placidity of plants, but in fact they’re self-feeding animals. They are — literally — the squishy bedrock of life, so if they’re disappearing from the floor of the earth (which they are), we all have a major problem.

(Click here to review Variety’s full review.)

Again, please watch this documentary if you can and help us preserve the world’s coral reefs. Use reef-safe sunscreen. Oh and please don’t litter either. That’s simply not cool. Let’s all love this beautiful planet of ours.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

8 thoughts on “Our Coral Reefs Are Dying, But We Can Help”

  1. The earth has been in warming mode since the last ice age. Man has no more control of climate change than we do tidal waves or earthquakes. Ozone, carbon, and warming are the results of but not the cause of what we are witnessing. This process is cyclical and has been repeating itself for millions os years, and politicians and governments who profess they can alter it through taxation and policy, are simply massaging their egos. Florida recorded the hottest July in 2017 on record. Heat records world wide are set each day. The oceans are warmer than ever. Flash floods are daily rather than occasionally!

    • Governments luv pushing the narrative that man is the cause of climate change and that we can control it … because it gives them an excuse to tax and regulate everything that moves under power.

  2. To give back to the ocean and reefs, my plan for my remains after I die is to send my ashes to Eternal Reefs. They mix the ashes with a cement mold with openings. Then an interment is done at locations on the eastern seaboard. The family watches the reef to be dropped, it is marked in longitude and latitude. After time, I will become a coral reef. Check out the web site: http://www.eternalreefs.com

  3. Contrary to the opinions above, there is a measurable change. It can be tracked using weather data that has been recorded in the Middle East for about 900 years. Samples of the polar ice have shown that the air quality has changed over the years. It has accelerated over the last century.

    To say that we can’t control it is to disregard all the chemicals we’ve been dumping into the air and water for the last 300 years.

    We can change the direction. I can remember when fish could not survive in New York’s Hudson River and the rivers in Pittsburgh would periodically catch fire due to all the flammable liquids we dumped into the water. We now have whales returning to the waters in the New York area and the rivers no longer burn.

    • The issue of chemical pollution of our waterways — and whether we can do something about what is clearly man-made pollution — is entirely different than the issue of climate change. I live in northern Indiana and the improvement in southern Lake Michigan, as a result of environmental regulation, has been nothing short of amazing, even near the Gary steel mills. But with climate change, it is not at all clear it’s caused by man, and even less clear whether man can even put a dent in the cyclical process. And even if we could, good luck getting China to cooperate. But the notion that we can “solve” the climate-change “problem” it is a great way for governments to justify an army of bureaucrats to regulate and tax any activity that involves the use of hydrocarbons.

      • Just like the man-made contamination in our water, the contamination of our air can be measured directly and indirectly. The artic ice and plants have made a record of what happened to our air. It became notably dirtier since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. That’s about the same time our rivers, lakes and streams were damaged. It’s man-made. It happened over centuries and it will probably take centuries to fix it. I suspect that our grandchildren will amaze their grandchildren by telling them that when they were young, almost everything ran on petroleum products.

        Times change and so does technology. 100 years ago this county’s population was 80 or 90% employed in farming. If you told them that in 100 years only 2% of America will be employed in agriculture, they would have asked where will all those people work. How would they have reacted if you said computer coding, software development and data processing? The energy field will change dramatically in the next 100 years. I have no idea what will replace it. The petroleum industry and those who desperately try to protect it will be in the same place as the dinosaurs who compose it.

  4. Could someone please tell me exactly ” the beach between the palms”? Is that right next to Drink or somewhere else? Thank you very much.

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