Coral reefs are beautiful, diverse, productive ecosystems. Many people love to marvel at these rainforests of the sea, but how much does the average person actually know about them? For example, how many people know whether a coral is a rock, a plant, or an animal?
This lack of understanding prompted WRI and partners to release a major report last year on threats facing the world’s coral reefs. The 120-page Reefs at Risk Revisited report contains a wealth of information on the world’s reefs, including a lengthy answer to the question, “What is a coral reef?” There was just one problem: Most people don’t read 120-page reports, so we needed to get the story of coral reefs out to a wider audience.
That’s why we’re so excited to introduce our new coral reefs video, Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril. With the help of a few animated fish and other critters, the film highlights the importance and value of coral reefs; their unique biology; threats to these ecosystems; and what individuals can do to help save struggling corals.
Some funny, creative humans help drive the points home, too. My friends Jim Toomey (cartoonist of Sherman’s Lagoon) and Céline Cousteau (perhaps you have heard of her grandfather?) joined us in this endeavor. Jim shared his humor and his magical pencil to create the images you’ll see in the animated video. Céline used her dynamic personality and passion to narrate coral reefs’ story. The result is a film that informs, inspires action, and may even make you laugh.
That reminds me – are corals rock, plant, or animal? You’ll have to watch Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril to find out.
To learn more about coral reefs, read our newest report, Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle. For the big-picture view of the status of the world's coral reefs, download our global report, Reefs at Risk Revisited.