World Reef Day Date in the current year: June 1, 2024

World Reef Day World Reef Day, sometimes referred to as World Reef Awareness Day, is observed annually on June 1. It was founded to raise awareness about the delicate ecosystem of coral reefs and the dangers they face because of human activity.

coral reef is an underwater ecosystem formed of colonies of reef-building corals. Sometimes referred to as rainforests of the sea, corals provide a home for a quarter of all marine species despite occupying less then 0.1% of the ocean’s surface area. They provide complex habitats to a wide range of marine organisms, including fish, seabirds, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, sponges, sea turtles, sea snakes, see squirts, echinoderms, tunicates and other cnidarians.

Over 90% of all coral reefs are situated in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Pacific, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea. The rest of the world’s coral reefs are located in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. The world’s largest coral reefs include the famous Great Barrier Reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, the Andros Barrier Reef, the Read See coral reefs, and the Florida Reef Tract.

Unfortunately, coral reefs have been declining rapidly over the past decades because they are very sensitive to water conditions that are affected by human activity. The main threats to the biodiversity of coral reefs include rising sea temperatures and the decrease in the pH value of ocean waters resulting from global warming, chemicals contained in sunscreens, overfishing, pollution (sewage, industrial pollution, plastic pollution), and unmanaged tourism.

Sunscreen pollution is a major cause of the coral reef decline. Most mass market sunscreens contain chemicals that cause coral bleaching, which makes corals more vulnerable to starvation and disease. Regardless of whether you live, by the beach or inland, the sunscreen you use is going to reach ocean waters and affect coral reefs because it makes its way to rivers and oceans through sewage waters.

World Reef Day was launched by Raw Elements USA, a producer of reef safe sunscreens formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, to educate people about the importance of reefs and raise awareness of the need to protect them from pollution and chemicals.

The inaugural World Reef Day was celebrated on June 1, 2019. It has been observed every year since then. The awareness day is marked by online awareness campaigns and educational activities that help people learn more about coral reefs and encourage them to take action in order to reduce negative environmental impact on these fragile ecosystems and initiate positive change.

Everyone can make a difference and help save coral reefs by taking a few simple steps. Use reef safe sunscreen when spending time on the beach, reduce the amount of single-use plastic at home to stop contributing to plastic pollution, donate to a reef conservation charity, and spread awareness about the importance of coral reefs on social media using the hashtags #WorldReefDay, #SaveTheReef, #ProtectTheReef, #ReefSafe.

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International Observances, Ecological Observances


World Reef Day, World Reef Awareness Day, international observances, environmental observances, reef conservation