Great Barrier Reef has lost half its cover

“Climate change is not a future threat. On the Great Barrier Reef, it’s been happening for 18 years.” – Terry Hughes, coral biologist, James Cook University.


This devastating New York Timearticle chronicles the latest bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, with 2016 the worst ever recorded and 2017 looking to be yet another epic scorcher.

“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” said Terry P. Hughes, director of a government-funded center for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Australia and the lead author of a paper  published today as the cover article of the journal Nature. “In the north, I saw hundreds of reefs — literally two-thirds of the reefs were dying and are now dead.”

The IFF’s Crochet Coral Reefs, some of which are currently on display at the UC Santa Cruz Sesnon Gallery, are an elegiac artistic response to this crisis. When Margaret and Christine Wertheim started the project they joked that if the GBR ever died out, their crochet reef would be something to remember it by. A decade later the unthinkable has become a pending possibility.

Citizens of Santa Cruz are currently crocheting a reef as the latest addition to the IFF’s worldwide wooly archipelago. For information see the UCSC Institute of the Arts and Sciences. UCSC-IAS