Five Ways to Value a Coral Reef

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5 Ways to Value a Coral Reef:
by Mickey Z.
Coral reefs are aragonite structures produced by living organisms, found in marine waters with little to no nutrients in the water (too many nutrients would damage the reef). "Coral reefs are made predominantly of stony corals and supported by the limestone skeleton they excrete," says Jennifer Horton of HowStuffWorks.com.
 
"These rainforests of the sea are home to a quarter of all marine fish species. In addition to the variety of marine life they support, coral reefs are also immensely beneficial to humans, buffeting coastal regions from strong waves and storms, providing millions of people with food and jobs and prompting advances in modern medicine."
 
 
They are called "rainforests of the sea"
but are disappearing even faster
 
[For complete article reference links, please see source at Planet Green here.]

All too predictably, our behavior is their biggest threat and, in a classic example of human hubris, rather than addressing the damage, old New York City subway cars are being used to create artificial reefs.

WATCH VIDEO: The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Coral Reefs Are Disappearing 4 Times as Fast as the Rainforests


5 Ways to Value a Coral Reef

1. Tourism

Australia's Great Barrier Reef alone draws about 1.9 million visitors a year, supporting a $4.2 billion industry. According to the Nature Conservancy, the annual economic value of coral reefs to world tourism is $9.6 billion.

2. Temporary

Seventy percent of coral reefs may be gone in less than 40 years if the present rate of destruction continues.

3. Carbon Sink

Coral reefs are invaluable carbon sinks and play a role in the earth's surface temperature range.

4. Protection

Coral reefs buffet coastal regions from strong waves and storms. When threats to coral reefs is coupled with sea level rise...well, you get the idea

5. Rainforest of the Sea

Good news: Coral reefs are as biologically diverse as rainforests.

Bad news: The "rainforests of the sea" are disappearing even faster real rainforests.

It's a huge task to turn around the culture that put reefs in such danger but The Nature Conservancy can get you started with 10 initial steps. After that, we have to get real busy.  
 
 
Links to Value
 

5 Ways to Value a Shark

 
 

 

 

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