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Interview: Finding Strategies
To Save World’s Coral Reefs

In her four decades as a marine biologist, Nancy Knowlton has played an important role in helping document the biodiversity of the planet’s coral reefs — and the threats they increasingly face.
Nancy Knowlton
Christian Ziegler/Smithsonian
Nancy Knowlton
Knowlton, a scientist at the Smithsonian Institution, has simultaneously been elated by the rapid pace of discoveries, while also growing increasingly alarmed by the perils facing coral reefs, including overfishing, disease, and climate change. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Knowlton assesses the state of the world’s corals and discusses conservation projects that offer hope of saving these irreplaceable marine ecosystems — success stories she has highlighted in a series of events called “Beyond the Obituaries: Success Stories in Ocean Conservation.” “I felt it was really important to give people a reason to think that there is something you can do,” says Knowlton. “We all need more than doom and gloom.”
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The Warriors of Qiugang, a Yale Environment 360 video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
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