Don’t Drill for Oil Near Newly Discovered Coral Reef

Target: President of Brazil Michel Temer

Goal: Protect newly discovered reef from oil exploration drilling.

In 2016, the discovery of a 600 mile-long reef at the mouth of the Amazon stunned scientists. Now, this barely explored natural phenomenon is under threat from oil companies who have acquired oil exploration blocks in the area. If authorized by the Brazilian government, Total, BP, and Petrobras could begin drilling in the area, threatening the reef with a potential ecological disaster.

The discovery of the reef, which stretches from French Guiana to the Brazilian state of Maranhão, was surprising as the outflow of major rivers often causes gaps in reefs. The Amazon river makes these waters particularly murky, blocking a significant portion of the sunlight that most reefs need to survive. These facts make this reef all the more unique and precious, and raise the possibility that it is home to multiple undiscovered species. Researchers have already identified 60 species of sponge, and over 70 species of fish, lobster, and sea stars in the area.

Alongside its importance in terms of the biodiversity, the area supports a number of fishing communities along the coast. Any oil spill or industrial contamination threatens to undermine the livelihoods of people in these communities. Sign our petition and demand a moratorium on any drilling around the mouth of the Amazon River.


Dear President Temer,

I was alarmed to hear that Total, Petrobras, and BP have oil exploration blocks around the mouth of the Amazon River. As you know, in 2016 researchers discovered a 600 mile-long coral reef stretching from French Guiana to Maranhão state. Given its placement at the mouth of a river and in murky waters, this reef potentially holds a number of undiscovered species — over 133 known species have been identified in the area in the last year alone.

Furthermore, the waters are a habitat for turtles, dolphins, and river otters. As you must know, these ecosystems are important both scientifically and economically as the fisheries in this area support numerous fishing communities.

Exploratory oil drilling and any future oil developments in this area can only lead to ecological catastrophe. Oil spills will likely poison the waters and the continued disturbances caused by drilling may have impacts on the dolphin, turtle, and otter populations as well as the reef. Furthermore, the contamination of the waters may render fish stocks unusable.

Lastly, any oil discovered in the area can neither be extracted nor burned if the planet is to avoid catastrophic climate change. Therefore, continued exploration is either pointless or irresponsible. I urge you to ban any drilling in the area and declare the reef a marine reserve.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: k connors

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  1. Greedy and selfish oil companies MUST NOT be allowed to destroy this beautiful coral reef, the land, the wildlife, or anything else. Time to stop selling out to big business, and to start caring for the earth – BEFORE it’s too late.


  3. Anne Moeller says:

    Do NOT allow for this beautiful reef to be destroyed by greedy oil corporations! Invest in solar and wind power instead!

  4. Come on people…How does a 600 mile long coral reef go undiscovered until now? This is so unrealistic its impossible that it’s even true. More fake news with made up facts by the environmental movement. If you can’t stop something then just make up a bunch of garbage facts to push the agenda. Enjoy sitting on your couch making snide comments you gas guzzling hypocrites. Fact is you will never know if it even exists let alone travel down there to see it.

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