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
Dozens of schoolchildren and hundreds of university students and soldiers helped to protect Ahmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, Central Java, from coastal erosion by planting 10,000 mangroves on Maron Beach.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the government agency responsible for protecting the reef, recently approved the dumping of five million tonnes of dredging spoil in the reef region. Scientists and coral reef experts universally condemned the decision.
In the last 10 years the number of tourists flocking to El Nido has more than tripled. In 2013 the famed marine sanctuary welcomed over 60,000 tourists to its white sand beaches, lush mangrove and ever-green forests, and magnificently sculpted jade islands. While tourism is a mainstay of the local economy, it is also an industry that is especially sensitive to reef conditions.
A new report shows that no-take zones in Belize can not only help economically valuable species such as lobster, conch, and fish recover from overfishing, but may also help re-colonize nearby reef areas.
Biologists have shown that inhabited coral islands that engage in commercial fishing dramatically alter their nearby reef ecosystems, disturbing the microbes, corals, algae and fish that call the reef home.
With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years.
A new report suggests that preserving and restoring coral reefs may be one of the cheapest and most effective ways to mitigate coastal erosion and flooding.
New research has uncovered the protective properties of soft coral tissue, which proved resilient when exposed to declining oceanic pH levels, and may provide a new approach toward preserving the harder, calcified reef foundations.
Caribbean corals and the algae that inhabit them form a remarkably stable relationship, new knowledge that can serve as an important tool in preserving and restoring vital reef-building corals..