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
Home to the second longest barrier reef in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere, Belize has long been acutely aware of the need to protect its marine resources from both human and natural activities.
While tropical cyclones and storms cannot be stopped in their tracks, there is a natural defense system against their more savage impacts: mangroves. And experts fear their tremendous value is being woefully under-appreciated, to tragic effect, all around the world..
The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations revealed, in a new report “Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action,” adding that the destruction of the coastal habitats was costing billions in economic damages and impacting millions of lives.
While people in Hawaii have been sweating out a lack of trade winds, corals underwater are also suffering.
One of the world’s leading coral reef scientists says Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has lost its credibility and budget cuts left it unable to protect the world heritage site.
Parrotfish eat algae and seaweed. These brightly colored fish with beaklike mouths inhabit coral reefs, the wellsprings of ocean life. Without them and other herbivores, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on these reefs for shelter and food.
Peasant farmers from one of El Salvador’s most fragile coastal areas are implementing a model of sustainable economic growth that respects the environment and offers people education and security as keys to give the wetland region a boost.
Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the USGS. Researchers indicate that the warmer water temperatures are stressing corals and increasing the number of bleaching events.
NOAA announced it will afford Endangered Species Act protections to 20 coral species. All 20 species will be listed as threatened. Fifteen of the newly listed species occur in the Indo-Pacific and five in the Caribbean.