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.
Surfing in / Mangrove and Coral Destruction
Over the next couple months, more than 2 million tons of concrete material will be dropped over local artificial reefs, providing habitat for ocean life on barren stretches of the sea floor.
NOAA scientists are warning that warm ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans could set the stage for major coral bleaching events across the globe in 2015.
The survival chances of crown-of-thorns starfish increase by as much as 240% if sea-surface temperatures rise 2C, say Australian researchers.
With coral reefs in decline and NOAA calling for a larger protected area for reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are pointing out another strategy to save reefs: First save the mangroves.
The coverage of living corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef could decline to less than 10 percent if ocean warming continues, according to a new study that explores the short- and long-term consequences of environmental changes to the reef.
How do you drown a coral reef? The very idea seems unfathomable for animals that spend their entire lives under water. But the deep ocean is actually riddled with “drowned” coral reefs, the remains of ancient reefs that slipped into the dark ocean depths and starved without sunlight.
Erosion rates increase tenfold in areas where corals are also exposed to high levels of nutrients, according to a study published January 2015 in the journal Geology. As sea level rises, these reefs may have a harder time growing toward the ocean surface, where they get sunlight they need to survive.
The United Nations said on Thursday it has sent a team of international experts to Bangladesh to help clean up the world’s largest mangrove forest, more than a week after it was hit by a huge oil spill.
Scientists have been monitoring underwater sounds for decades, in part because sound propagates so efficiently underwater. But in the past 10 years, scientists have started exploring how sonic cues influence fish behavior and give a snapshot of reef health and biodiversity.