FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco, CA — August 26, 2008 — The Coral Reef Alliance  (CORAL) has joined forces with Leisure Pro —the Internet's largest scuba diving and snorkeling merchant—to raise awareness about the endangered state of our planet's coral reefs.
In observance of International Year of the Reef 2008, Leisure Pro is drawing on its extensive customer base to educate the public about reef destruction and the ways CORAL is working to protect coral reefs and the communities that depend on them.
To support this unprecedented partnership and CORAL's Take a Bite out of Fish Feeding  campaign—an effort launched in Hawaii to eliminate reef fish feeding—Leisure Pro has agreed to stop selling fish food. The practice of feeding fish can have disastrous effects on coral reefs by altering predator-prey relationships and pushing delicate ecosystems out of balance. When people feed algae grazers like surgeonfish, the fish fill up on fish food and eat less algae, causing the algae to flourish and potentially smother the reef.
Leisure Pro's new reef-friendly policy represents the first business on the U.S. mainland to support CORAL's successful campaign. According to Leisure Pro CEO Phil Mendel, "Our concern about coral reef damage has brought us a new awareness of the harm caused by reef fish feeding. By ceasing to sell fish food, we will hopefully not only reduce supply but also raise consciousness about the damage wrought."
An ardent supporter of CORAL's work, Mendel believes "the world is interconnected . . . business and the environment must go hand in hand." CORAL Executive Director Brian Huse agrees, noting that "CORAL's unique, mission-driven partnership with Leisure Pro affords the opportunity to reach active people who care deeply about the environment. CORAL was originally founded by passionate divers, and the dive community continues to be one of our key conservation partners around the world."
Leisure Pro customers can sign up for CORAL's free electronic newsletter and make a donation with each online purchase. Shoppers who donate at least $10 will receive CORAL's 2009 calendar featuring stunning underwater images donated by professional and amateur photographers.
Find out more at www.coral.org  or by calling 888-CORAL-REEF.
CORAL is the only international organization working exclusively to save coral reefs. It builds grassroots partnerships among local communities, government leaders, marine recreation operators, and marine park managers to identify and solve conservation challenges through education, training, and effective management of marine protected areas.
Julie Bennett, Communications Manager, CORAL
(415) 834-0900 x319 or jbennett (at) coral.org
Ben Teichberg, Master Instructor, Leisure Pro
(800) 637-6880 x2316 or bent (at) leisurepro.com