Elena | |
Kelly Hu
Dr. Hu heals the reefs

LA�s celebrity reef lovers have been lending their support to California’s under-appreciated ecosystem. Kelly Hu, Greg Hodgson, Gale Anne Hurd, Daryl Hannah and Penelope Ann Miller were all at the Reef Inhabitants event last month, which was making its California debut in Pasadena.

Reef Check‘s Kelly Hu (X-Men 2, and ABC’s “In Case of Emergency”) hosted the successful Run for the Reefs Luau in Hawaii in December 2006. Kelly, a Hawaiian native, has made it her mission to raise the profile of coral reef conservation in the media and in Hollywood.

Hu explained, “People come from all over the world come to see Hawaii’s beauty and to dive and snorkel. It’s a delicate part of our ecosystem as well.”

In December, she took part in the 34th annual Honolulu Marathon held in her hometown running 26.2 miles under the guidance of legendary track and field Olympian Carl Lewis. Hu and Lewis also co-hosted a celebrity Luau fundraiser for Reef Check Hawaii attended by Maggie Q, Greg German, Daniel Dae Kim, Jason Scott Lee, Kelly Slater, Jonathan Silverman, Lance Bass and Mario Lopez.

Founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson, the Reef Check Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. Reef Check has its headquarters in Los Angeles and has attracted some environmentally-conscious celebrities to its cause.

It also runs volunteer teams in more than 80 countries around the world trying to team community volunteers, government agencies, businesses and universities.

As far as common knowledge of reefs in concerned, their destruction is often seen as tragic but hardly critical. Reef Check think that isn’t the case they emphasise the value of reef ecosystems and the current crisis affecting marine life as a result. They also place a lot of emphasis on educating volunteers in Reef Check’s scientific methods so that reef health can be monitored, protected or rehabilitated.

Reef Check California was launched in 2005 to protect California’s coastline which stretches over 1,000 miles. Its kelp forests and rocky reefs play home to a vast array of marine life supporting a diverse array of consumptive and non-consumptive human uses. But, similar to reefs around the world, the rapid growth of California’s population, coastal development, pollution, and overfishing have placed increasing demands on the nearshore resources, leading to the near extinction of many organisms that were previously common.

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