Coral Reef Alliance 15th Anniversary Party

“We’re on a mission and we’re in a hurry,” represented one of the slogans or rather calls to action for the small but influential Coral Reef Alliance. They celebrated their 15th anniversary a couple of nights ago with an energetic, education and edible gathering at the oh so elegant Bently Reserve building here in San Francisco.

The festivities brought together their field representatives from all over the globe including: Belize, Fiji, Mexico, Indonesia, Honduras, almost anywhere coral reefs have become an endangered species. Over locally produced and multilayered Lagunitas IPA and tasty hors d’oeuvres the crowd mingled and discussed the state of coral reefs worldwide. Talking to the various field reps, we got the idea that they create awareness and educate many locals and tourists with little resources. It was as if the field reps paraphrased a quote from the film The Grapes of Wrath, “Wherever there’s a fight about coral reefs, I’ll be there.”

The party highlighted not only food and connecting but educating as well. For those not familiar with the Coral Reef Alliance, they effectively manage protection areas like national underwater parks. Although the focus remains mostly environmental, the field representatives also offer social justice programs where locals also benefit from community initiatives.

Many people claim that the coral reefs will be gone in 40 years or so, unless we act quickly. As always, money looms as the key to conservation with many divers supporting and donating to the organization and the continuing coral reef education. Several speakers mentioned recent successes including the poaching patrols in Honduras and the enacting of the first anchor free zone in Fiji where the boaters use a user fee system that also benefits the local communities.

Leaving the event, we couldn’t help from being inspired the their plan of action tied together with their pull one’s self up by the bootstraps (or in this case scuba fins) mentality to save the worldwide coral reefs.

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