Saving the World's Coral Reefs

Over the last 50 years, half the world’s corals have died. This has led to dramatic declines in marine life and biodiversity. It has also created major threats to coastal communities and economies.
Changing the Trajectory
We’re committed to changing the trajectory of coral reef decline by using innovative technologies to map and monitor the world’s coral reefs, supporting revolutionary scientific research into heat-resistant corals, and advocating for the mobilization of resources for coral reef conservation. 

Mapping The World's Coral Reefs

Current surveys of coral reefs are inconsistent and cover less than 1% of all reefs. We’re using cutting edge technology to expand understanding and inform prioritization of conservation efforts.

Allen Coral Atlas

The Allen Coral Atlas uses satellite imagery, science, fieldwork, and machine learning to map and monitor coral reefs in unprecedented detail. We provide consistent, up-to-date maps of the world’s coral reefs which empower governments and the conservation community to better protect and preserve these critical resources. The Allen Coral Atlas was conceived and funded by the late Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and is managed by the Arizona State University Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. Along with partners from Planet, the University of Queensland, and the National Geographic Society, the Atlas utilizes high-resolution satellite imagery and advanced analytics to map and monitor the world’s coral reefs in unprecedented detail. These products support coral reef science, management, conservation, and policy across the planet.

Arizona State University, National Geographic Society,  PlanetUniversity of Queensland

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Enhancing Heat Resilience

With ocean temperatures rising, corals must become more heat resilient to prevent extinction. We’re working with world-class scientists to pioneer breakthrough scientific research with the goal of evolving corals that can withstand warming waters.

Human-Assisted Evolution

This groundbreaking scientific research is producing heat-resilient coral through breeding and conditioning techniques. In the first five years, the project propagated corals that outperformed purebreds in simulated future ocean conditions.*

Australian Institute of Marine Science, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

Assisted Gene Flow

For the first time, researchers are successfully crossbreeding coral in a lab using frozen sperm. This is producing the world’s largest living wildlife population of pan-Caribbean coral crosses ever created from cryopreservation, validating it as an effective tool to boost genetic diversity and invigorate global coral populations.*

Smithsonian Institute, Mote Marine Lab, Florida Aquarium, CARMABI (Curaçao)

Larval Restoration of Coral Reefs

This innovative restoration technique builds on work restoring degraded reefs in Australia and the Philippines using coral spawn and coral larvae. These scientists are now conducting testing to determine if seaweed-dominated degraded reefs can recover by adding coral larvae. This can be in the form of newly settled corals fed with additional nutrients, or through an underwater remotely operated vehicle (LarvalBot) that can disperse millions of coral larvae to restore reefs.*

OceanKind, Queensland University of TechnologySouthern Cross University


Driving Awareness and Global Action

To change the long-term trajectory of coral reef health, we’re working to strengthen policies that protect and restore coral reefs. We’re also securing funding to support and implement scalable solutions.

"Reef Rescue"

This film presents the inspiring stories of scientists who are leading cutting-edge research in coral reef preservation. These personal stories boost public understanding, increase urgency, and create engagement to support promising solutions.

Merit Motion Pictures, Films a Cinq, CBC, ARTE

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Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Policy

Together with our partners, we’re engaging with policymakers leading up to CBD Conference of the Parties 2020 to establish new targets and indicators that will set the course for coral conservation and restoration over the next several decades.

International Coral Reef Initiative (38 Countries), UN Environment, WWF, WCS, TNC, CBD Secretariat

Global Fund for Coral Reefs

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs’ blended finance approach uses grants from government and philanthropies to unlock private sector investments to save coral reefs. The grants will catalyze investment-ready projects through financial structuring, technical assistance, and co-funding.

Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, UN Development Programme, UN Environment,  UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office

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National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Report and Communications

By raising public awareness of this NASEM study evaluating interventions designed to save coral reefs, we’re directing and inspiring coral conservationists around the world.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration