Global change causes widespread decline of coral reefs. In order to counter the anticipated disappearance of coral reefs by the end of this century, many initiatives are emerging, including creation of marine protected areas (MPAs), reef restoration projects, and assisted evolution initiatives. Such efforts, although critically important, are locally constrained. We propose to build a “Noah’s Ark” biological repository for corals that taps into the network of the world’s public aquaria and coral reef scientists. Public aquaria will serve not only as a reservoir for the purpose of conservation, restoration, and research of reef-building corals but also as a laboratory for the implementation of operations for the selection of stress-resilient and resistant genotypes. The proposed project will provide a global dimension to coral reef education and protection as a result of the involvement of a network of public and private aquaria.
Zoccola, D., Ounais, N., Barthelemy, D., Calcagno, R., Gaill, F., Henard, S., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Janse, M., Jaubert, J., Putnam, H., et al. (2020). The World Coral Conservatory: A Noah's ark for corals to support survival of reef ecosystems. PLOS Biology 18, e3000823.