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Planetary Coral Reef Foundation Overview


The Coral Reef Crisis

The Planetary Coral Reef Foundation (PCRF) was founded in 1991 to address the coral reef crisis. An estimated 25% of the world’s reefs have already disappeared and an estimated two-thirds of all coral reefs are at risk today. In Southeast Asia, more than 80% of the reefs are at risk and more than 90% of the reefs in the Florida Keys have lost their living coral cover since 1975. Threatened by pollution, over-fishing, dynamite and cyanide fishing, sedimentation as well as bleaching caused by global warming, coral reefs are now endangered on a planetary scale. If immediate action is not taken, coral reefs could disappear from Earth within this century. The future of life on our planet depends on the health of our oceans and the health of our oceans depends on the health of our coral reefs.

Why Coral Reefs Are Important
Coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystem and the greatest expression of ocean life. Home to more than 25% of all fish species, reefs and their habitats play a vital role in the global economy, providing resources and services worth an estimated $375 billion per year including: food for an estimated 10% of the world's population, fish nursery habitats, shoreline protection from erosion, pharmaceuticals and tourism. The prospects of a world without reefs are devastating – for the global economy, for a hungry and ever growing world population, for the sustainability of the oceans and for the life of all future generations.

PCRF – Meeting the Planetary Challenge
Since its inception, PCRF has pursued an unprecedented approach to the coral reef crisis, launching an innovative scientific and educational campaign worldwide. In support of its mission, PCRF charters a research vessel and is now completing year thirteen of an ongoing expedition dedicated to mapping, monitoring and preserving the world’s coral reefs. Crewed by an international team of officers, scientists and students, this is the only vessel continually at sea studying coral reefs on a planetary basis.

Today, there is no comprehensive baseline map of living coral reefs, and this information is urgently needed if we are to have a chance of saving this endangered ecosystem. To accomplish this critical goal, PCRF is also pioneering a Coral Reef Satellite Mission in cooperation with scientists at College of Charleston, M.I.T., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, SeaSpace, the Stevens Institute of Technology and USC. This will be the first satellite mission dedicated to coral reef stewardship.

PCRF has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Francis Lee, the President of Raffles Marina, Singapore’s premiere marina, for long term cooperation on marine conservation initiatives. As a first step, PCRF will now base its operations not only in Los Angeles and on board its research vessel, but also in Singapore and Southeast Asia. For more information, please see www.pcrf.org.

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