October 20, 2009 – The Center petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect 83 vanishing corals under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
January 20, 2010 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Fisheries Service if it continued to ignore our petition.
February 9, 2010 – The Fisheries Service announced it would begin reviewing the status of 82 of the 83 petitioned-for corals to determine whether they should have Endangered Species Act protection.
January 25, 2011 – The Center filed a notice of its intent to sue the Fisheries Service for the agency’s failure to protect the 82 imperiled coral species under the Endangered Species Act.
September 27, 2011 – In an agreement filed in federal court, the Fisheries Service pledged to determine by April 15, 2012, whether Endangered Species Act protections are needed for the 82 species of coral.
January 30, 2012 – The Center filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking greater protections from fishing for the elkhorn and staghorn corals.
November 30, 2012 – The federal government proposed that 66 species of coral should be newly protected under the Endangered Species Act, 12 as “endangered” and 54 as “threatened.” This includes the change of status from "threatened" to "endangered" for staghorn and elkhorn corals.
September 13, 2013 – In a settlement filed in federal court, the National Marine Fisheries Service committed to developing a recovery plan for elkhorn and staghorn corals.
August 27, 2014 – In response to our 2009 petition for 83 corals, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced protection for 20 of those species as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act because of the threats of global warming, disease and ocean acidification.
July 20, 2016 – Accordint to groundbreaking new research published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, global degradation of coral reefs is primarily caused by climate change instead of localized impacts associated with human population in coastal areas, as many scientists had assumed.