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Ocean and Reef Conservation

Learn how our actions matter to the health of the oceans and their reefs.

Growing Coral

 coral propogation

The ABQ BioPark Aquarium is growing coral right here in Albuquerque. Learn more about the program here. 

Coral reefs, the rainforests of the sea

Coral reefs provide habitat for over one million aquatic species. Reefs are important to humans, too. They provide food, business opportunities in fishing and tourism and coastal protection by buffering shorelines from waves and storm.

Threats to Coral Reefs

  • Climate change
    • Elevated temperatures cause coral bleaching and disease.
    • More carbon absorbed by the oceans causes acidification and inhibits calcification, the process corals use to build reefs.
  • Destructive fishing practices
  • Coastal development
  • Pollution
  • Invasive species
  • Collection for the aquarium trade

New technology has allowed aquariums to create reef environments away from the sea and even propagate new corals, eliminating the need to remove them from the wild. Some public aquariums are working to re-vitalize damaged reefs with captive-raised corals.

We propagate and grow corals at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium. Our corals come from other aquariums, which take cuttings called frags, named after fragmentation, in the same way horticulturalists take cuttings from plants. Under the right conditions, these frags grow quickly into large corals worthy of display. When our corals reach full-size, we will take cuttings and share them with other aquariums, allowing people who may never see a wild reef to enjoy these beautiful, living ecosystems. Learn more here.

Our Actions Matter- How you can help!

Save Energy to Reduce Climate Change

Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, releases greenhouse gasses, the primary cause of global warming. Climate change threatens our coral reefs and other marine ecosystems through rising temperatures and sea levels, changing weather patterns, and acidifying oceans. There are as many solutions as there are ways to conserve energy.

  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
  • Reuse water bottles.
  • Take your own bag.
  • Ride your bike.
  • Turn off unneeded lights.
  • Turn down the heat.
  • Hang out clothes to dry.
  • Buy local food.
  • Carpool.

Shop Smart to Save Ocean Animals

Millions of ocean animals are harvested each year to sell as souvenirs, medicine, food and other products. While many fishermen and fish farmers use methods that harm the marine ecosystems, some are striving to find balance between a demanding market and a diminishing resource.  Vote with your dollar for sustainable fishing practices.

  • Avoid buying coral skeletons, sea shells, sea stars and other dried sea creatures as souvenirs—choose to remember your beach trip through photographs, stories and found items.
  • Choose sustainable seafood.

Learn More and Support Ocean Conservation

Grow your understanding of the natural world, and you will also learn what you can do to help protect it. Many people are working together to find solutions to the challenges ahead.  You can join them by learning more and supporting conservation work here and around the world.

Our past, our present and whatever remains of our future, absolutely depend on what we do now.
--Sylvia Earle