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Nearly 100 submissions from 18 countries. And here are ...

"Corals (1994-2003)" © Craig Quirolo
Without photo documentation the dramatic changes that have taken place on this reef are hard to imagine. This three hundred year old coral colony disappeared in less than a decade.

(Click photo to enlarge)


"Florida Corals" © E.A. Shinn, USGS
The black and white photo taken in 1959, shows a composite head consisting of two species of brain coral and one star coral. In 1988 the star coral at left has eroded away and by 1998, the head is dead and encrusted with gorgonian corals.

(Click photo to enlarge)


"Crowded Island" (Indonesia)
  © Leila Sievanen/Tyler Davis
This crowded island lies off the southern coast of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. About 65 percent of Indonesia’s 240 million population live in the coastal zone.
This number has been increasing and the impacts on coastal ecosystems have been dramatic as maximum sustainable yield of Indonesian fisheries is rapidly being approached.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Rather amazing that the judges were drawn so strongly to these images of coral reef decline.
All five of the judges picked the Corals (1994-2003) photo set in their top five choices.

We would also like to honor the nine submissions that also scored highly with the judges:


(Click each photo to enlarge)

© Axel Schoeller

Falling Star
The ocean stage is getting destroyed and with it, its stars fall into darkness. We need to shift the spotlight on the dangers to keep the marine theatre alive.

© Luke Gers

Manhattan Beach
Just another great day at the beach...or is it? No one here seems to mind the beachfront powerplant obscuring the view, nor the potential pollution and runoff hazards--not to mention the beach to the north is situated next Hyperion sewage treatment plant.

© Ethan Daniels

Shark Fins Burning
Shark fins, confiscated from an illegal fishing vessel, were piled and burned to show the world that illegal fishing within the Republic of Palau's waters will not be tolerated.

© Ethan Daniels

Shark Fins
Members of the Republic of Palau's police academy stand by a pile of confiscated shark fins.  The president of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau, gave a quick, to the point speech regarding the management and conservation of Palau's marine resources, then lit the fins ablaze.

© Justin Pfister

Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays from the Yucatan! It seems the trash here is now livelier than the reefs. The trash has given locals a new tradition of decorating their Christmas tree with bright packaging from afar. I hope our oceans continue providing for us this well everyday of the year.

© Sara Shoemaker Lind

Beautiful But Empty
Empty Fish trap in Empty Sea, Nha Trang Coast, Vietnam.  The empty trap represents a shift in culture in an area that's now been abandoned by fishermen. They have been forced to accept the shifted baseline and move to new fishing areas.

© Donna D. Markham

These photos were taken in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They were taken with a disposable Kodak underwater camera. The reefs were located in front of the hotel I stayed at the Montego Beach Resort. I heard that the snorkeling here was some of the best in Jamaica. It is available to the guest of the hotel at no charge. It was wonderful, but maybe my own baseline isn't that high.  Destruction was very evident.

© Susan Glover

New Mexico Lake (1991 and 2001)
As a teenager, I swam in the blue waters of Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico. In my twenties I returned only for a photo. As a mother in my thirties, I brought my children to swim, but the water was gone. In recent times there has been increasingly more drought in the western states and therefore less water runoff to the reservoir.  In addition, the reservoir water is used for irrigation purposes in New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico.

© Chris S. Witwer

The Morris Island Lighthouse now stands directly in the ocean--Morris Island is gone. Folly Island (foreground) erodes at approximately 8-15 ft/yr. Federally funded navigation projects have purportedly accounted for up to 57% of this erosion.



Chuck Davis
Underwater Photographer
Norman Lear
Television Producer
Jane Lubchenco
Marine Biologist
Steve Palumbi
Marine Biologist
Bob Talbot
Underwater Photographer