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Coral Comeback? Call In the Crabs!

Entered in Documentary, Long Form Video


Several years ago, we launched a collection of short educational videos called "Coral Comeback?" that explored corals, the threats coral reefs face from climate change, and potential solutions. With the aim of highlighting more positive stories to inspire our audience, we decided this year to produce a new video for the collection called "Call In the Crabs."

We set out to produce a fun and educational video with a small team and limited budget at a time when there is a strong need for more hopeful stories about climate change and our ocean. Rather than dwell on the damage coral reefs have faced due to a warming ocean, we wanted to quickly get into solutions currently being tested. We wanted to show how scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, in collaboration with NOAA, are working right now to help give damaged coral reefs a fighting chance of recovery.

As with all videos that NOAA Ocean Today produces, our aim is to increase ocean literacy among a middle school audience by providing useful videos to educators who serve that age group. Our videos are also designed to appeal to a general audience of ocean and science lovers.


A single member of our Ocean Today team planned and filmed the video on location in Florida in cooperation with Mote Marine with a travel budget of $500. We were able to interview and follow two young marine biologists who are conducting research and raising both crabs and corals in the new lab. These women scientists are a new wave of young people who are at the front line of providing practical solutions to the castrophic damage occuring to coral reefs as our ocean warms and ocean heat waves last longer and longer. The fact that we have already lost 50 percent of our corals in the last 30 years doesn´t deter their enthusiasm or sense of urgency and pride in their work. Their innovative solutions to use the power of nature to fix problems humans are creating are not only innovative they are inspiring. So much so that our veteran filmmaker was literally in tears after one of the interviews. 

The video was edited by a second team member and additional input was given by a producer. We used fun editing techniques, motion graphics, and pop-up definitions throughout the video to keep our young audience engaged and allow them to comprehend what can be a complex topic.

Our outreach strategy consisted of collaborating with NOAA's National Ocean Service and Coral Reef Conservation Program social media staff leads to post the video across various NOAA social media channels. We also shared the video to our mailing list of over 50,000 educators, many of whom will play the video in their classrooms. The video was also published to our multimedia kiosk in dozens of museums and aquariums across the country. Mote Marine shared the video on their social media channels as well.

We also published a vertical version of the video to Instagram. We understand that many educators use Instagram. Our goal is to continually expand the reach of our program by connecting with more educators who can show our videos in their classrooms. For this reason, we also invite viewers to check out the Ocean Today website at the end of the video, as they will find our complete collection of videos about corals and other ocean topics that can be downloaded and shown in classrooms.


The video has been viewed more than 10,000 times and liked more than 300 times on NOAA's National Ocean Service Instagram account. It's the most viewed video on the account in the past year and one of the most viewed of all time. We also reached more than 2,500 accounts outside of our followers, helping to further expand our audience. In fact, we saw 300+ new followers directly following the post. The video has also received nearly 1,000 views on our website since publishing in early November, which is on par with our new releases.

More importantly, we believe this video will have an impact on our young viewers and ultimately our ocean. The young female scientists in our video prove that it's not too late to solve the climate crisis and that girls can do science. These are exactly the kinds of voices we want to bring to our Ocean Today audience of young people and educators who are often overwhelmed by bad news. And when young women see these professionals in action, they begin to believe they too can have meaningful careers that can help solve our biggest problems. 


Video for Coral Comeback? Call In the Crabs!

Entrant Company / Organization Name

NOAA Ocean Today


Entry Credits