Surveying Coral Reefs in Hawaii with ACES

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Earlier this year, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation joined Dr. Ved Chirayath on a research mission to survey and map coral reefs in Lana’i, Hawaii. Chirayath leads the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science’s Aircraft Center for Earth Studies (ACES), and has pioneered a new approach to mapping reefs using drones equipped with fluid lensing technology.

Fluid lensing harnesses the unique power of waves to magnify and concentrate light on the seafloor, essentially allowing users to see through the water and map the seafloor in stunning detail…

Sharing our findings at the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS)

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation will be attending the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) this week to share our findings from the Global Reef Expedition.  The 15th International Coral Reef Symposium is the primary international conference for coral …

What We Learned: Marine Protected Areas Work in Conserving Coral Reefs

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Managing marine resources is a challenge for communities around the globe. On the Global Reef Expedition, we had the opportunity to visit protected and unprotected reefs in both remote locations and those regularly used by humans. The degree of protection varied, but we found that areas with the highest protection had the healthiest reefs.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a tool commonly used by governments and communities to manage their marine resources. An MPA can have varying degrees of regulations, including no-take and no-entry where no fishing is allowed and entrance into the park is not permitted, to varying permitted use that regulate the fishing and use practices. Some of the countries we visited, such as Australia (Northern Great Barrier Reef), Palau, and New Caledonia have large human populations utilizing the reefs and have prioritized establishing large protected and managed areas to conserve their nearshore reef systems.

Findings from the Global Reef Expedition

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Coral reefs offer a variety of ecosystem services, including sustenance, economic opportunities, and protection from natural disturbances, as well as playing an essential cultural role for thousands of communities. However, globally, the extent of the world’s reefs is being degraded at an astounding rate. To better understand the coral reef crisis, we embarked on the Global Reef Expedition (GRE), the world’s largest coral reef survey and high-resolution habitat mapping initiative, to assess the status of Earth’s reefs at a critical point in time. The GRE brought together an international team of over 200 scientists, educators, photographers, and filmmakers who circumnavigated the globe surveying some of the most remote coral reefs in the world.

This month, we published a report summarizing all of our findings from the Global Reef Expedition.

Global Reef Expedition Final Report

The Global Reef Expedition Final Report summarizes the findings from our 10-year research mission to survey and map coral reefs across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans as well as the Red Sea. The Expedition involved hundreds of research scientists …

The Global Reef Expedition at the IUCN World Conservation Congress

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation’s Director of Science Management, Alex Dempsey, had the prestigious opportunity to present at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France. Her presentation, entitled “The Global Reef Expedition (GRE): Circumnavigating the Globe to Address the Coral Reef Crisis,” focused on the plight of coral reefs and how the Global Reef Expedition assessed the state of coral reefs around the world.

Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together “several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.” As coral reefs are rapidly declining globally due to a host of different stressors such as climate change and overfishing, they are a key example of a critical habitat in need of global awareness and protection using a multifaceted approach of conservation disciplines and stakeholder involvement. The presentation highlighted how the GRE was meticulously planned under the framework of Science Without Borders©, and the foundation’s three-pronged approach of using scientific research, education, and outreach to address the coral reef crisis. In each country the GRE visited, an international team of scientists together with local leaders, conservationists, government officials, and subject matter experts worked in tandem to assess the state of the reefs.

The Last Great Coral Reef Wilderness

Global Geneva Magazine April 21, 2021 By Liz Thompson & Renée Carlton   Scientists aboard the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history—traveled to the Chagos Archipelago to study some of the most pristine coral …

The State of Coral Reefs in the Solomon Islands

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) is pleased to announce our findings from the Global Reef Expedition mission to the Solomon Islands! Released today, the Global Reef Expedition: Solomon Islands Final Report summarizes what we found on a monumental research mission to study corals and reef fish in the Solomon Islands and provides recommendations on how to preserve these precious ecosystems into the future.