Board of Advisors

Craig Quirolo

Founder, Reef Relief (retired), USA

Craig Quirolo is a sailor, photographer and artist born in Oakland, California. He sailed from San Francisco to Key West in the ’70’s and launched the first sail charters to nearby coral reefs. Tourism thrived and by 1987, Craig and other charter boat captains realized their anchors caused damage when dropped on the reef. They organized to launch the nonprofit organization Reef Relief. Craig led the effort to install and maintain 119 reef mooring buoys at 7 Key West reefs, now part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Buoy Program. The group educated locals and fought reef threats, including offshore oil drilling in the Keys. Craig was the only environmentalist to testify before Congress in support of the sanctuary and received a personal Point of Light Award from President H.W. Bush on Earth Day, 1990. In 1991, after observing reef and water quality decline, Craig began a 15-year photo monitoring survey that documented changes to specific corals over time. He initiated research with scientists to discover the causes. Craig posted 10,000 images from the survey, including reefs from Reef Relief’s Caribbean projects, that provides a baseline of reef health at that is utilized worldwide. He retired in 2009 and moved to Brooksville, Florida, but still privately maintains the archive. Craig attended Chico State University and the San Francisco Art Institute.