Reef Keeper

by Lauren YS

Cancun, Mexico – July 2017


Finding This Mural

Google Map

Story Behind This Mural

Coral Reefs are underwater structures forming colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. They constitute some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth but are under immense threat due to climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, the aquarium trade, and harmful land-use practices. General estimates show approximately 10% of the world’s coral reefs are dead. About 60% of the world’s coral reefs are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities, so much so that by the 2030s, 90% of coral reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change by 2050, all coral reefs will be in danger.

Artist Statement

The image is inspired in part by Vishnu, the Hindu "Preserver God" who embodies the desire to protect whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces. Lauren's Reef "Protector" is a mergirl whose tail is lined with veins of coral and whose four arms carry symbols of recycling and conservation. It is meant to express a sense of immediacy and intensity for the issue, given that coral reefs are so direly threatened and at risk of extinction. The Chinese characters are an adage that reads "Burning a city gate kills the fish in the moat," meaning that every action you take creates ripples.

The Focus

Coral reef conservation

Take Action

You can help save coral reefs by:

  • Reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Using reef-friendly sunscreen.
  • Only consuming sustainably caught sea life.
  • Being an ocean-minded voter.