The IMarEST is supporting the International Year of the Reef 2018 and is committed to coral reef conservation and the wider sustainable use of our oceans. We urge our members and the wider public to engage in the conservation crisis of coral reefs and spread the word about the importance of coral reefs to the future of humanity.
For World Ocean Day 2018 and beyond, the IMarEST is helping to push for change through a global movement. This movement needs you to help drive this change.
The power of action, no matter how small, can reap huge rewards. Proof of how just a simple action can have a big impact, the Chasing Ice Ohio tour illustrates how just a few small screening events of a film can lead to action in a whole congressional district. From just a single screening event, the opinion of a congressman who previously denied the existence of climate change was altered, and has since gone on to be a vocal climate advocate. You can find out more about this success story here and by visiting DearCongressmanTiberi.com.
In addition to the IMarEST guide on 10 things you can do to help , listed below are some further suggestions on how you can get involved, with links to how you can find out more.
Host a screening of Chasing Coral to spread the word (global action)
If you haven’t already seen it, Chasing Coral is a fantastic and inspirational film showing the consequences of human activities on our magnificent coral reef ecosystems and the alarmingly fast rate at which these consequences are occurring.
Netflix is offering a free, one-time license to host an educational screening of the film. If you have a Netflix account – why not organise a screening in your local neighborhood? Whether it’s in your own front room to friends, or in your local school to a bigger audience – even if we manage to educate just one person on the plight of coral reefs, it will have been a worthwhile undertaking.
Accelerate local action (global action)
Often we can feel as if our voices are disconnected from those of local elected leaders and that we don’t have a say on local or regional issues. Just as we’ve seen with the inspiration story involving Congressman Tiberi, a small group of people can have a large voice.
If you want to have an impact in your community – you can. Find out more on how you can mobilise change in your local area.
Join local action groups and support clean energy in your area (global action)
Every single action individually has an effect, but combining them with others can make the effect even stronger. There is a host of other people in your neighbourhood that want to take action, the same as you. Whether it’s sharing information through social media, becoming an ambassador or joining forces with an organisation that works in your area – anything you can do will make a huge difference.
To find out more on the organisations that may be working near you, and other suggestions on ways you can help – details on page 29 of this document.
Reduce your personal carbon footprint
Our carbon footprints are the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the Earth’s atmosphere that result from activities of a particular individual. We should all take steps to reduce our own personal carbon footprints, to help stop the climate change that is destroying our beloved coral reefs.
Reducing your personal carbon footprints in our day-to-day lives is easy – it’s just a matter of knowing how! National Geographic has released a guide with some easy steps on how we can modify our lives slightly to reduce our footprints. See 14 easy suggestions.
Get out the vote (US action)
The Chasing Coral partners at the Environmental Voter Project, have revealed some shocking statistics about voting in the U.S. There are 15 million+ registered voters that have listed environmental issues as a priority - but very rarely turn out to vote.
In 2018 you can help to change this. If you live in the U.S., take action this midterm election.
Want to learn more?
This guide provides just a few of the countless ways in which you can get involved to help save our beautiful coral reefs. If you would like to learn more on coral reefs and climate change in general, below are a series of external links that will point you in the right direction.
Learning materials on coral bleaching:
- HHMI Interaction science education materials: A host of free science education resources on coral bleaching activities and other interesting topics.
- Teach Ocean Science: A collection of free science education resources for education on coral reefs and other marine topics.
- National Ocean Service – Ocean Service Education: Further free educational resources aimed at grades 9-12.
Learning resources for climate change:
- Short answers to hard questions about climate change: Unsure of how to answer questions on climate change? Here is a list of great responses to arm yourself with in a climate conversation.
- Tips for conversing with climate sceptics: A guide on how to deal with people who ‘refuse to accept climate change’.
- The Paris agreement - 1.5℃ target: A breakdown of the agreement, its significance and further resources to learn more on the agreement – UNESCO says this is ‘the only way to save coral reefs’.
Books and resources on climate action and suggestions:
- Drawdown: Paul Hawken’s Drawdown assumes the answers to climate action exist. His book and accompanying Drawdown Project outlines 100 successful efforts already in place around the world that can be imitated and amplified to make real, measurable change.
- Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy: A global network of cities and local governments committed to voluntary action to achieve climate goals and move toward a green, low emissions and resilient economy.
- Climate of Hope: A new book by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope that takes an optimistic look at climate solutions.
- Growth in Clean Energy Sector. A report by Environmental Defence Fund that looks at trends in wind, solar and the transition to clean energy in the US.