Coral Reef Restoration It really doesn’t seem like an automatic fit with board gaming. And we don’t live near an ocean. So why are we supporting it?
The most important reason for us is that it's personal. Our whole family loves the water. During every summer, we swim, fish, and boat in nearby lakes. From the beauty and raw power of its waves to the colorful and energetic life that swims through it, the ocean for us has this draw for us. Our kids love watching documentaries about the ocean and oceanic life, such as Chasing Coral on Netflix. This means we also learn a lot about the environmental changes currently affecting the oceans. Helping the oceans carries meaning for us. As we started researching how to help, coral restoration kept coming up.
So what’s happening to the coral reefs? Why do they need restoring?
Coral reefs are bleaching, which means they’re dying out. Increased water temperatures cause them stress and make it very difficult to recover. The result is a reef that looks like white sticks - a distant image compared to the vibrant colorful reef you might imagine. Of course, this means less habitat and food for other ocean life, creating a ripple effect from the coral loss. We realized that coral reefs also play a huge role in managing oceans. Healthy reefs provide protection to coastlines from powerful waves and can even help slow or reduce tropical storms. All coral reefs and local coastlines are facing these issues. We found a lot more details here.
Reef restoration is a way to help combat coral loss. There are a few organizations that do and support this work. How Coral Restoration Foundation does it really resonates with us. The Coral Restoration Foundation focuses on the Florida Reef Tract, the world’s third largest reef. They are also a key part of the Coral Restoration Consortium - “a high-level community of practice that comprises scientists, managers, coral restoration practitioners, and educators dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to adapt and survive the 21st century and beyond.”
In supporting the Coral Restoration Foundation, we (and you!) are helping them grow and farm new, young, healthy coral to be planted back on the reefs. These corals will continue to grow to redevelop the reef and help restore the healthy ecosystem around it.
Along with supporting coral restoration, reducing plastics is another great way to help keep the oceans clean and healthy. As a family, we’re mindful of packaging and plastics in our everyday life. This also led us to consider our store and the plastics that flow through it. While board games are inherently paper and cardstock (which should always be recycled), there is a lot of plastic in the packaging. Minis and other components are also often a form of plastic, along with inserts, sleeves, and trays. But, we need to make a distinction between single-use plastics and other plastics. As you might guess, single use plastics are an issue because they often end up as waste instead of recycling. In our case, packaging would fall into the single-use category, but a mini you use over and over in game would not.
Thankfully, many towns, municipalities, and counties have recycling programs where these plastics are accepted. And we strongly encourage you to recycle your gaming plastics and cardboard after satisfyingly punching out a game.
We’re excited about this new opportunity to give more from our store, and help bring life back to the oceans. As we give more and learn more, we’ll share little reminders and fun facts on our social feeds. And thank you for your support of our store that makes this possible!