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WSL PURE Raising Awareness of the Coral Reef Crisis

WSL PURE: Glowing Glowing Gone
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At the Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o pres. by Hurley, WSL PURE is raising awareness around the crisis facing coral reefs and taking action to restore these habitats.

With the WSL's commitment to leave every place better than we found it, WSL PURE is collaborating with ‘Glowing Glowing Gone', a global campaign, in partnership with The Ocean Agency, advocating for greater funding and action for coral reef conservation by highlighting the global danger signaled by fluorescing corals. This campaign is focused on raising awareness around the crisis facing coral reefs, while taking action in French Polynesia to support local projects to restore these habitats.

Coral reefs all around the world are extremely vulnerable to ocean warming, climatic changes and ocean acidification, and they need to be protected from additional anthropogenic stressors such as pollution, overfishing and uncontrolled coastal development to give them the best chance of survival. Coral reefs all around the world are extremely vulnerable to ocean warming, climatic changes and ocean acidification, and they need to be protected from additional anthropogenic stressors such as pollution, overfishing and uncontrolled coastal development to give them the best chance of survival. Photo: The Ocean Agency WSL / ADBE

In an effort to leave ever place better than we found it, On Monday, August 19th, Michel Bourez, Lea Brassy, Matahi Drollet, and Koa Smith teamed up with WSL PURE and the Coral Gardeners to plant dozens of units of coral at a nearby reef. The baby coral was planted into an underwater frame where they will mature for 20-24 months before being transplanted onto degraded areas of the reef. When these coral fragments grow, they help to recreate reef habitats, which allows other life to return and strengthens the reef against future damage. In light of this great work, WSL PURE will continue to support local organizations in their efforts to restore coral reefs in the area.

Committed Above. Committed Below.
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WSL PURE visited the Coral Gardeners with WSL surfers and top scientists to help plant healthy new coral back onto Tahitian reefs.

"It's so cool to work with WSL PURE, Glowing Glowing Gone and the Coral Gardeners on the planting endeavor here at home in Tahiti," Bourez said. "The solutions to make positive change can be very simple sometimes and they make a major impact. It was a great day in Moorea with Coral Gardeners and the teams and I'm looking forward to representing Glowing Glowing Gone on my Tahiti Pro jersey at this event."

WSL PURE visited the Coral Gardeners with some WSL surfers and top scientists to take action and help plant healthy new coral back onto the reefs. Watch the Video now. The experience included the coral planting, along with an educational discussion around the importance of coral health to ocean health and solutions for improving the ecosystem. WSL

In addition to local restoration work, the larger Glowing Glowing Gone collaboration features a complete takeover of the Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o presented by Hurley event branding to incorporate the exact colors of fluorescing corals. The customized range of "Glowing" coral colors were specifically created by the campaign partners Adobe and Pantone from imagery taken by The Ocean Agency in New Caledonia. The three colors, Glowing Yellow, Glowing Blue, and Glowing Purple, will be incorporated into all event branding, including the competition jerseys, which will deviate from standardized colors for the first time ever. The Glowing campaign is a joint initiative between The Ocean Agency and UN Environment and includes some of the world's largest conservation organizations. The campaign is supported by Tahiti Pro partners Hurley, Jeep, Corona, and Red Bull.

In 2016, a team from The Ocean Agency photographed one of the most spectacular and rarest sights in nature while filming the Netflix Original Documentary Chasing Coral. A coral reef situated in New Caledonia was "glowing" in incredibly rare vivid colors due to an underwater heatwave. The corals were producing brightly colored chemicals that act as sunscreen in a desperate bid to survive the fatally high water temperatures.

Glowing Hero 2400x1350 This glowing coral phenomenon, called fluorescing, is one of the most visual indicators of the climate crisis and the existential threat to entire ecosystems such as coral reefs. However, until now, it has gone largely unnoticed. Photo: The Ocean Agency WSL

The WSL and WSL PURE are committed to action to address the climate crisis, and its effects on coastal habitat like the coral reefs of French Polynesia. These reefs are under pressure from many human-related causes, most notably ocean warming and acidification related to climate change.

Uli KUNZ 2 In addition to offsetting the carbon footprint of the entire event in Tahiti, including air travel, the WSL is supporting Coral Gardeners, a youth-led non-profit organization that is actively restoring coral reefs in the area. Photo: Coral Gardeners WSL / Uli Kunz

"We're excited to both raise awareness for the plight of coral reefs around the world as well as support real impact in French Polynesia," said Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of the WSL. "The Glowing Glowing Gone campaign draws attention to the cause and global solutions, while the Coral Gardeners are making a positive difference in the restoration of the nearby reefs, and the WSL is proud to partner with both organizations."

"The future of the world's coral reefs hangs in the balance, threatening both marine life and hundreds of millions of people who rely on them for food, livelihoods and coastal protection," says Gabriel Grimsditch, UN Environment coral reef expert. "By supporting the Glowing campaign, the World Surf League is leading the way in helping to sharpen global attention to the crisis facing corals."

"We are thrilled about the World Surf League's commitment to making their events carbon neutral and free of single-use plastics, and their support of the Glowing campaign," said Richard Vevers, Founder and CEO of the Ocean Agency. "The WSL has the reach and influence to raise awareness and funds for coral reef restoration, making a tangible positive impact through their events, athletes, and content. The WSL's support of the Glowing campaign will certainly help us achieve the mission to be the first generation to save an entire ecosystem."

Join us in our mission to #StopTrashingWaves and pledge your commitment to leave every place better than it was found at wslpure.org!

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