Help King Crabs Recreate Coral Reef Kingdoms

Target: Dave Hogan, Director of Office of Marine Conservation

Goal: Expand efforts to save coral reefs by deploying crabs.

Over 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been nearly eradicated. Overheating oceans are a double whammy for these colonies because coral is not only stressed by heat but also endangered by a major heat-loving foe: algae. This substance competes with coral for precious space. It also releases detrimental chemicals while blocking out needed sunlight. An unlikely ally could give the world’s coral a fighting chance, however.

In Florida’s coastal waters, where a massive 90 percent of coral reefs have been lost, an initiative is taking place that would introduce scores of algae eaters to ravaged ecosystems. Caribbean king crabs consume large amounts of algae, and in recent experiments they have demonstrated that they can change the game by clearing areas for coral growth. Other native algae eaters have become a scarce commodity themselves due to climate change, so unleashing the crabs could be a true game-changer.

Sign the petition below to urge adoption of this innovative approach on a broader scale.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Hogan,

The crab nursery at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is generating the next critical tools in combating a rising consequence of the climate crisis: the loss of coral reefs. The king crabs utilized in this program will be trained for surviving life in the oceans and eventually released so they can help rid reef spaces of detrimental algae. Results so far have proven the initiative’s immense potential.

With over half of the world’s critical coral reefs in peril, this effort deserves a bigger platform where it can achieve maximum good. Please invest in similar programs to help save other at-risk reef systems.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Francisco Ungaro


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