Coral Reef Alliance

Coral Reef Alliance
Founded 1994
Berkeley, California
Type Charitable organization
Focus Environmentalism
Key people
Michael Webster, Executive Director
Slogan Uniting communities to save coral reefs

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California, that partners with local reef communities around the world to protect coral reefs. CORAL was founded in Berkeley, California, in 1994 by Stephen Colwell,[1] and is currently headed by Dr. Michael Webster. With 19% of the world's coral reefs already destroyed and another 35% at immediate risk or threatened due to human pressures,[2] organizations like CORAL are addressing an urgent need.


The organization was founded in 1994 by Stephen Colwell in Berkeley, California. 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.

In 1995 CORAL started their first website to help expand coral reef communication and news. Shortly after they partnered with the Palau Conservation Society (grant of $72,000) to support protection of Rock Island Marine Park.[3] After a year or two Colwell decided to start a membership program to increase charitable income to help with different activities around the globe. In 1997 the Coral Reef Alliance was selected to appear in a 30-minute PBS documentary entitled The Visionaries, filmed on Palau Island, Micronesia. The show documented CORAL's work to promote coral reef conservation and was distributed to 175 television markets across the country to be aired four times throughout each market. In 1999, CORAL became a founding member of the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), a coalition formed to implement the international Coral Reef Initiative Framework for Action. In 2002, CORAL expanded its focus to building strong marine protected areas to restore coral reefs worldwide. In 2005, it completed design of its new approach, the Coral Reef Sustainable Destination (CRSD) model, which is still used today and is increasingly validated by the scientific community.


The Coral Reef Alliance or CORAL is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.[4] 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.[4] Many of CORAL's employees are stationed in Hawaii and around the world in countries such as Indonesia, Fiji, Honduras, and Mexico.[5]


CORAL promotes conservation through its Coral Reef Sustainable Destination (CRSD) approach, a holistic model that combines marine protected area (MPA) management and sustainable business operation for community benefit.[6]


  1. "Ecosystems facing destruction". 2000-11-17. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  2. Wilkinson, Clive (2008). Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008. p. 5. ISSN 1447-6185.
  3. "CORAL's Historical Timeline". Coral Reef Alliance. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  4. 1 2 "Financials". Coral Reef Alliance. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  5. "Where We Work". Coral Reef Alliance. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  6. "What We Do". Coral Reef Alliance. Retrieved 28 September 2011.

External links

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