Reefs Closest to Humans are Degraded

This infographic compares a reef near a populated location to a reef in a remote area.

This infographic was made in collaboration with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Integration and Application Network.

Visit the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program's page for all U.S. coral reef status reports.

Reefs Closest to Humans are Degraded

Download the PDF.

Infographic Transcript: Reefs Closest to Humans are Degraded

Coral reefs closest to human populations are degraded. The corals are not thriving, fish populations are impaired, and connections to reefs by local communities are lacking. Conversely, coral reefs that are farthest from human populations have fewer threats to combat. While coral bleaching from temperature stress, illegal fishing, and marine debris still impact remote reefs, these reefs tend to be more resilient to pressures due to minimal direct human contact. The good news is that U.S. residents generally support the use of Marine Protected Areas in both remote and more easily accessible regions, which indicates that coral conservation is seen as a net benefit for the public.