25 Galapagos Island residents received education talks on Galapagos corals. They also visited Punta Pitt, north San Cristobal Island. They participated in the coral monitoring activities of Lobe Coral ().
Corals are marine creatures that produce a calcium carbonate skeleton and live in symbiosis. Algae give corals food, and color. Coral bleaching is a process that causes corals to expel algae from their bodies when they are under stress such as rising sea temperatures. This can cause disease and even death. Corals in the Galapagos Archipelago are at risk due to a decline and degradation of coral population since the 1980s, primarily due to El Nino events.
Dr. Jorge Carrion, Director Conservation at Galapagos Conservancy, and Conservando Galapagos partner, stated that communities that are well-educated in conservation issues are more likely to take care of their environment and encourage practices that promote environmental care.
Coral reefs are one the most important ecosystems on the planet. They provide habitat for many marine species and protect coastlines from erosion. Carrion stated that coral conservation is essential for sustainable tourism in the area and protection of Archipelago’s biodiversity.
Galapagos Conservancy supports conservation initiatives by universities and citizens who contribute to the preservation of the island’s ecosystems. We congratulate GNPD for their ongoing efforts to educate island residents and younger people about environmental issues.