Why Coral Reefs Matter And How We Can Repair It

Why Coral Reefs Matter And How We Can Repair It

October 15, 2018

Why Coral Reefs Matter

Coral reefs play an important role in other creatures’ lives. Aside from having the most diverse ecosystem, it protects coastlines from the devastating effects of tropical storms, provides habitats for marine organisms, assists in nitrogen and carbon fixing, recycles nutrients, and many more.

Of course, you know the role of coral reefs because it has been a part of instruction. But there are other things you should understand about them. Take a look at the following:

Different Types of Corals

The most common type of coral reef is the fringing reef. This grows seaward from the shore. It forms borders along the shoreline and other surrounding islands. As it continues to develop, it creates an atoll, too. This is usually oval or circular in shape with an open lagoon. Another type is the barrier reef. As with the fringing reef, it also borders a shoreline. However, it is separated from land by an expanse of water. Plus, it does not grow directly from the shore.

Coral Reef Destruction

As coastal construction increases and temperatures rise, more than 33% of coral reefs are in danger. Recent marine studies show an 80% decline in different forms of coral. With the destructive human practices and global warming, it doesn’t show signs of improvement.

What is Coral Reef Destruction?

Defined as the degradation of corals, coral reef destruction is caused by pollution, careless tourism, and illegal fishing techniques. Natural phenomena have also been contributing to the potential mass death of the ocean’s beautiful corals. These include hurricanes, climate change, and earthquakes.

As living organisms, corals can get sick or die like other plants. Because of the local and global factors, more of the world’s reefs are dying that affect most ocean’s creatures.

Causes of Coral Reef Destruction

Coral reef’s extinction can be devastating for different areas that rely on them for food or livelihood. Although you don’t live in one of these places, massive coral death can significantly affect you, too.

The rapid and constant destruction of corals is not an issue that we can overlook. It’s good to know the main causes to solve the problem. Yes, it can be avoidable. However, global awareness is essential to implement effective changes.

Reef Bleaching

This occurs when serious water conditions cause coral reefs to expel the microorganisms that give them natural colors. These bleaching events have been associated with pollution, low tide, or water temperature.

Thankfully, bleached coral reefs are not dead yet. They can recover from this event. This is especially true when water temperatures start to cool down. But they are more vulnerable to potential diseases or death in this extreme state.

Dynamite Fishing

Using cyanide and other poisons have been a practice of many people around the world. Although the solution is not designed to kill a specific sea creature, it stuns the fish. While the sea creatures can metabolize the cyanide, the case is different in coral polyps. When it gets in the nooks and crannies of the corals, it dies over a short period of time.

What People Can Do to Alleviate Coral Reef Destruction

It’s simple! Awareness and discipline play a significant role. Inculcate these values into the minds of the youth to avoid dynamite fishing, careless tourism, and other illegal practices. It all starts at home and parents have a big responsibility! 

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