Coral Reef Alliance

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Coral Reef Alliance
2013 logo
Berkeley, California
TypeCharitable organization
Key people
Michael Webster, Executive Director

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, that partners with local reef communities around the world to protect coral reefs. The Coral Reef Alliance's (CORAL) mission is uniting communities to save coral reefs. Working with people around the world—from fishermen to government leaders, divers to scientists, Californians to Fijians—the Coral Reef Alliance protects our most valuable and threatened ecosystem. We lead holistic conservation programs that improve coral reef health and resilience and are replicated across the globe. At the heart of our work are Adaptive Reefscapes – networks of healthy reefs that can adapt to climate change because they are diverse, connected and large.

Although they cover less than 0.1 percent of the earth's surface, coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world. They are also among the most threatened. Today, coral reefs face multiple stressors at different scales. When global threats like warming waters combine with direct threats like overfishing and water pollution, it severely compromises the ability of corals to grow, reproduce and thrive. As much as one-third of all reef-building corals are at risk of extinction. Scientists predict that all corals will be threatened by 2050, with 75 percent facing high to critical threat levels.


The organization was founded in 1994 by Stephen Colwell. In the beginning, the goal was simple: to engage the diving community in coral reef conservation. Today, CORAL's mission of uniting communities to save coral reefs has dramatically broadened the scope of its work and has provided extensive opportunities to have an even greater impact around the globe.

Originally founded in 1994 to galvanize the dive community around conservation, CORAL has grown from a small, grassroots alliance into a world-renowned organization with a history of successfully working with local communities in coral reef regions around the world to protect their coral reefs. We believe that for conservation to be durable, our interventions must be aligned with the social, cultural and economic needs of each community and that local leaders must be empowered to lead the effort. Now, we’re honing our strategies and tools to ensure that they benefit new places and new people.

Today, CORAL recognizes that our best chance to save coral reefs is in collaboration with the people who are most closely connected to coral reefs. In partnership with local communities, we take a multipronged approach to restoring and protecting coral reefs. Our signature initiatives are: Healthy Fisheries for Reefs, Clean Water for Reefs and Intact Reef Ecosystems. At the heart of our work are Adaptive Reefscapes – networks of healthy reefs that can adapt to climate change because they are diverse, connected and large.


The Coral Reef Alliance or CORAL is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.[1] They depend on the support of individual donors, foundations, and corporate and government grants to build grassroots conservation partnerships among local community members, government leaders, and marine recreation providers in coral reef destinations around the world.[1]

CORAL has a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.


  1. ^ a b "Financials". Coral Reef Alliance. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.

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