Mangrove & Coral Destruction
Widespread destruction of mangroves (Bahamas, Australia) and Coral Reefs (Caribbean, Red Sea) has resulted in the loss of some of the worlds most diverse ecosystems. As a side effect, this has greatly increased shoreline hazards and beach erosion rates. The greatest benefit of mangroves is their ability to reduce storm surge. This benefit is long-term and requires no maintenance. The 1999 super typhoon, Orissa, killed over 10,000 people in India drowning many with its powerful storm surge. This number could have been lower if the mangroves had been retained. Mangroves are lost because of clearing for development, logging, and shrimp farming. Coral reefs are lost by mining (Bali, Indonesia), sedimentation from agriculture on the upland (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), bad fishing techniques that kill corals (Pacific Islands), sedimentation from nourished beaches (Waikiki) and a host of other natural and global warming-related causes. Dubai is perhaps the single greatest example of coral reef destruction. The artificial islands built there buried vast coral reefs. Mangroves and coral reefs often provide protection for nearby beaches. Their destruction harms the beach as well.
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As countries ponder how to encourage mangrove conservation, the role of people, rights, and governance institutions should receive equal consideration.
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As global climate change continues to threaten coastal communities in the tropics, discussions around mangrove forest conservation and rehabilitation have been focused primarily on ecological conditions, lacking a more robust analysis about the ways land governance, resource rights arrangements, and land use planning — the social aspects of the conservation challenge — affect mangrove conservation and rehabilitation…
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The future of the Great Barrier Reef looks increasingly precarious. Researchers in Australia have identified a new threat — not bleaching, but encroaching algae.
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More than 90 percent of the corals in Sekiseishoko reef, located in the Ryukyu Islands near Okinawa, were discovered to be at least partially bleached when surveyed in November and December. About 70 percent of the reef’s living corals were found to have died.
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The video revealed for the first time how the mushroom coral Heliofungia actiniformis, which is a single polyp, physically reacts to heat stress. The results gave scientists more information about how corals will respond to warming seas that are associated with climate change.
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Fewer hard freezes due to global warming means more mangroves will flourish in Florida and worldwide to trap carbon and temper further warming, new NASA-funded research concludes.
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The massive mangrove plantation initiated by the government will strengthen the protection of the coastal areas in Eastern Visayas against the rise of sea water or storm surge due to strong typhoons.
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NASA’s Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) has studied the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia and has several other targets planned.
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By now, the storyline should be familiar: We humans are burning loads of fossil fuels and chopping down the rainforest, and that’s causing the atmosphere to heat up rapidly. The ocean is storing much of that heat. Beneath the surface, there’s evidence of a mass extinction brewing. Coral are among the silent victims, and the results are undeniable. That’s true regardless of who’s in the White House…
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