Committed To Conservation
REEF ALLIANCE is an evolving program that promotes sustainable diving practices and environmental education. Our message is primarily delivered to individuals who participate in Sea TREK helmet diving tours around the world. (Sea TREK is a guided underwater walking tour for non-divers and non-swimmers.) Many of these individuals are encountering marine life for their first time; as responsible stewards of the ocean, our mission is to educate, create awareness, and be proactive. We are committed to conservation and hope you will join us in our efforts.
Celebrated annually on the 3rd Saturday in September, Reef Alliance Day is an event that coincides with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. All over the world thousands of volunteers work together to recover trash and debris from beaches, reefs, lakes, rivers and local waterways. Items such as fishing line, plastic bags, bottle caps and cigarette butts stay out of the water and away from healthy sea life. Signup to cleanup!
Reef Alliance Award Winner 2017
Each year, Reef Alliance (a conservation program sponsored by Sub Sea Systems) and its partners participate in the International Coastal Cleanup, a conservation effort founded by the Ocean Conservancy. This worldwide cleanup event resulted in over 18 million pounds of trash removed from beaches, oceans, waterways and coastal areas in 2017 alone! Read the 2017 report here.
The International Coastal Cleanup is just one of many volunteer events that Reef Alliance members participated in throughout 2017. Members also focused on conservation, education and proactive efforts within the community. In recognition of this hard work, Reef Alliance selects one member as the recipient of the annual Reef Alliance Award. We are proud to announce that OdySea Aquarium is the recipient of the 2017 Reef Alliance Award.
OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona, hosted and participated in multiple cleanup events throughout the year. Their team worked hard to keep debris and recyclables out of our waterways and oceans.
OdySea contributed to a number of presentations and programs involving local grade schools and universities, such as a STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) Pro Live! Broadcast, and a conservation presentation at the University of Arizona. These remarkable efforts sought to educate children and adults alike about the challenges our waterways and their inhabitants face, and the ways in which we can all contribute to maintaining a healthy ocean environment through conservation and sustainability.
OdySea also hosted its first annual Conservation Expo, featuring local rescue organizations and sustainability groups. Over 20 local organizations were part of the event, including the Phoenix Herpetological Society, Liberty Wildlife, Arizona Game & Fish, The Phoenix Zoo, Audubon Arizona, and the Center for Native & Urban Wildlife. At the expo, the team debuted a 15-foot hammerhead shark that was created out of more than 2,500 recycled plastic bottles, aiming to spread awareness about the amount of plastic that goes into our oceans. Approximately 7,000 future conservationists attended the free event!
Sub Sea Systems is proud to honor OdySea Aquarium’s commitment to supporting a variety of programs at the local, regional, and global levels, to educate and inspire guests about aquatic life and conservation. Read more about OdySea’s efforts here: https://www.odyseaaquarium.com/care-conservation/
Enhancing Our Reefs
Tourism businesses, such as SeaTREK, rely on the health of the ocean for the success of its business. One method to maintain healthy reefs and healthy tourism is to take pressure off the natural reef through artificial enhancements. Reef balls, 3D printed modular reefs, and decommissioned, stripped down vehicles are several ways to enhance an underwater area; thus not relying on neighboring natural reef environments for entertainment. These manmade structures can convert a once barren area to a thriving home– providing surfaces for new coral growth and hiding places for fish, while offering an interesting scene for human visitors to observe.
ConservationReef enhancements conserve marine life by taking pressure off of the natural reefs and allowing populations to thrive
RestorationReef enhancement can restore habitats that have been damaged due to past physical impacts
Artificial Enhancement Examples
Taking Pressure Off Our Natural Reefs
Protecting Wild Fish Populations
REEF ALLIANCE and SeaTREK are proud to partner with Rising Tide Conservation; a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of coral reefs and wild fish populations through sustainable aquaculture. Rising Tide collaborates with research universities and public aquariums to discover new methods to captive-breed saltwater aquarium fish in order to reduce the negative impact of fishing on coral reefs.
Recently, Rising Tide Conservation and the team at the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory successfully captive-bred (for the first time ever) Pacific Blue Tangs. To learn more about this project visit Rising Tide Conservation's website.
The Life Cycle of the Blue Tang
- Eggs: Fertilized eggs develop into fish.
- Larval: Larval fish live off a yolk sac.
- Fry: Fry start eating on their own.
- Juvenile: The time fish spend developing from fry into adults.
- Adult: When fish are able to reproduce.
- Spawning: Female fish release eggs and male fish fertilize them.
Research & Development
Donations raised through the SeaTREK program at Discovery Cove Orlando have contributed nearly $50,000 to Rising Tide Conservation! Enough to fully fund the research of one PhD student.
How can you contribute?
Try SeaTREK on your next vacation! When you participate in SeaTREK* a portion of your payment is donated to Rising Tide. This money is used to directly fund a PhD student’s research in sustainable aquaculture.
*only at participating SeaTREK locations
Through shared research and education, Rising Tide can increase the amount of captive-bred species of marine ornamental fish available to aquarium hobbyists and reduce our impact on coral reefs. To learn more visit risingtideconservation.org