Why helping coral reef matters
What are Coral Reefs?
Coral reefs are large underwater structures composed of the skeletons of coral. Coral are invertebrate marine animals. They extract calcium carbonate from seawater to create a hard, durable exoskeleton. Over time, new coral grow over the exoskeletons of their ancestors until massive submarine structures are formed.
Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate. According to 50reefs.org, we could lose all coral reefs by 2050. There are several factors impacting our reefs: pollution, overfishing, and climate change. The recent warming of our oceans in some regions has a devastating impact on many species of coral.
Coral reefs directly support over 500 million people as a food source and income. They protect our shores from storm surges. Reefs also support 25% of the oceans marine life. Oceans supply nearly 70% of the oxygen we breathe. The health of our oceans and our reefs impact other climates around the world. The good news is we can act and make a difference.
Some corals are less vulnerable than others to changes in ocean temperature. There are reef systems responding to restoration efforts. We created our #reef2leaf grant to do what we can to conserve this very important part of our planet.
The #reef2leaf Initiative
Since founding Wildhorn in 2015, we've desired to use the company for good. After examining many different charities and opportunities, we've decided to start a grant program called Reef 2 Leaf. The program focuses on solving problems that impact our coral reefs and forests. Our first grant will be made to help with coral restoration. Over the next three years we will financially support restoration efforts and actively educate the public about this important issue. Our brand ambassadors will use the hashtag #reef2leaf to help spread the word. By working to preserve reef systems, we can also positively impact the rest of the environment. While it starts on the reef it also helps the leaf!
Coral restoration is done by harvesting corals from underwater nurserys nearby reef sites. Those corals are then moved and planted directly into the existing reef exoskeleton. Over time, the reef re-grows and takes root in the site.
We'll be focusing our help on the coral reefs along the Florida Keys. The Florida reef system is the third largest barrier coral reef in the world. We will post more updates about our grant recipient soon.
The good news is, some reefs are far less vulnerable to climate change than others and through science we can identify them.
- Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute -