Coral Reef Ecosystems
Resource Collection

Coral reefs are one of the most important ecosystems on our planet that protect and foster biodiversity. The diversity of locations and reef types makes this system unique and allows for valuable comparisons of reefs from differing biogeographic regions and differing levels of use. Explore this collection of NOAA webinars, lesson plans, posters, videos, infographics, virtual reality, and more. Learn about coral reef ecosystems and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ efforts within the sanctuary system to preserve them and limit the impacts they face.

Coral reef surrounded by fishes


Learn more about the importance of coral reefs, the species they support, and reef restoration efforts. Explore NOAA’s work in studying and protecting these areas and how national marine sanctuaries benefit coral reef ecosystems.

Kids looking at a fish tank

Lesson Plans & Activities

Utilize our interactive and educational lesson plans and activities, like coloring pages and a word search, to educate students about coral reefs and the threats they face.

A diver swims with many fish swarming around them


View a collection of archived webinars on coral reef ecosystems, the impact of climate change on reefs, reef restoration, and much more.

Yellow fishes


From the comfort of your own home or classroom, you can dive into another world through these coral reef videos. Travel from many of our sanctuaries and monuments, including Flower Garden Banks in Texas to American Samoa, to further understand the importance of these ecosystems.

Diver looking around with a big flash light

Virtual Reality

The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries protects some of the most iconic coral reefs in the world, but corals are suffering from disease and other stressors. Fortunately, NOAA and our partners are working together to restore these critical coral reefs. Grab your snorkel (okay, headset) and dive in to explore these diverse ecosystems!

Yellow specie inhabiting a coral reef

Species Spotlight

Ever wonder what different types of coral inhabit our ocean? Explore the NOAA Fisheries’ coral species directory to discover the wide range of coral species.

Turtle swimming under sea

Species on the Reef

Discover the biodiversity that lives among the national marine sanctuary coral reefs! From sea turtles to parrot fish, coral reefs are a home, breeding ground, and sanctuary for a variety of species.

Coral gardens

Deep-Sea Coral

Although you might think of corals and only imagine a shallow tropical reef, technology has revealed coral gardens in the dark ocean depths. Hundreds and thousands of feet beyond the reach of sunlight, these unique coral ecosystems are found off all our coasts, inhabiting the deep-sea.

Coral reef with a green fish inside

Infographics & Posters

This compiled assortment of coral reef posters and infographics is beneficial for educators and community partners, as well as the general public, to learn about reef ecosystems, what threatens them, and species on the reef.

Species on top of a coral reef

Web Stories

National marine sanctuaries are home to coral communities across the United States and territories. Explore more about the reefs that inhabit the sanctuary system through our catalog of web stories from new discoveries in the world of coral, important research, coral bleaching, and reef damage.

diver swimming through a school of fish

Dive into Your Sanctuaries

Immerse yourself in the beauty of your national marine sanctuaries. Sanctuary waters are filled with unique ecosystems, including kelp forests. Discover a sense of wonder as you glide through a towering forest of giant kelp. This exciting dive opportunity awaits you in many of your national marine sanctuaries!

many different species of fish swimming over a coral reef

Coral Reef Ecosystems Elementary Resource

In collaboration with the National Park Trust, the best of the best educational materials for an elementary school audience have been compiled around 10 exciting topics. In the Coral Reef Ecosystems Collection find out what corals are and why they are so important to be on your way to becoming a coral expert!