The Tiffany & Co. Foundation: 15 Years of Supporting Coral Conservation December 2014

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation awarded its first grant in coral conservation in 2000, the same year as the Foundation’s establishment. Since that time, a priority on preserving this beautiful marine species has been one of three pillars of the Foundation’s environmental grantmaking. In its 15-year history, the Foundation has awarded over $10 million in support of conserving coral, a slow-growing and precious animal susceptible to myriad threats.

Coral reefs are the sustaining cornerstone of a vibrant marine ecosystem. They are treasure troves of marine biodiversity, barriers to protect coastline, and major drivers of recreation and tourism. Protecting coral and restoring ocean health are taking center stage as global priorities. In June 2014, the US State Department hosted an international conference to assess the health of the oceans, and global and regional coalitions are forming in order to better manage these waters. Successfully restoring ocean vitality cannot be achieved without a focus on conserving coral. Given that coral has long been used in fine jewelry, this program area is especially relevant to The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

The Foundation pursues two main strategies in this program. The first focuses on educating those with a strong interest in maintaining ocean health—sailors, boaters, marine-tourism providers and hotels—by engaging them in initiatives to protect the marine ecosystems they value so highly. The Foundation also seeks to ensure coral’s long-term resilience through support of cutting-edge research and proven reef management strategies.

Specifically, the Foundation has made significant investments in establishing, monitoring and safeguarding marine protected areas globally. These protected areas—vast expanses of ocean protected from extraction—are akin to the world’s great nature preserves and national parks on land. They are places of abundant flora and fauna, invaluable to the Earth’s rich biodiversity. The Foundation’s investment in supporting the establishment of marine protected areas has yielded significant results. For example, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is a partner in advancing Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy, an initiative currently responsible for nearly 60% of the world’s fully protected ocean waters.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has supported coral conservation in every major reef worldwide. By focusing on preserving these natural treasures, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation seeks to leave the oceans bright, beautiful and vibrant for future generations.