Mangrove & Coral Destruction

Miles of mangrove trees Miles of mangrove trees have died in recent years along the coast of Angola due to a combination of environmental factors, including oil spills. Photo: Joe Hughes

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

Living Gallery to Help Conserve Mangroves in Singapore

An area will be set aside at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve coastal trail, for a living gallery of mangrove trees, comprising about half of the true species in the world, in a move to conserve these plants.

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The Micronesia Challenge: Sustainable Coral Reefs and Fisheries

While island societies can do little to control carbon emissions from developed nations, they can manage their local resources to enhance the ecosystem services that coastal habitats, including reefs, provide for people.

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Scientists Expect Hawaii’s Worst Coral Bleaching Ever

Warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures around Hawaii this year will likely lead to the worst coral bleaching the islands have ever seen.

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Stop Mangrove Destruction In Indonesia To Slow Climate Change

The loss of Indonesia’s coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions, writes Prodita Sabarini. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win.

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Bering Sea Hotspot for Corals and Sponges

North of the Aleutian Islands, submarine canyons in the cold waters of the eastern Bering Sea contain a highly productive “green belt” that is home to deep-water corals as well as a plethora of fish and marine mammals.

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Mangroves Help Protect Against Sea Level Rise


Mangrove forests could play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas from sea level rise caused by climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.

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What Happens to a Coral Reef When an Island is Built on Top?

Seven such coral reefs are being turned into islands, with harbors and landing strips by the Chinese military, and it is destroying a rich ecological network. “It’s the worst thing that has happened to coral reefs in our lifetime.”

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Coral Bleaching Threat Increasing in Western Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

As unusually warm ocean temperatures cover the north Pacific, equatorial Pacific, and western Atlantic oceans, NOAA scientists expect greater bleaching of corals on Northern Hemisphere reefs through October, potentially leading to the death of corals over a wide area and affecting the long-term supply of fish and shellfish.

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Unesco Spares Great Barrier Reef In-Danger Listing But Issues Warning

The UN has ruled against listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”, congratulating Australia on its conservation plan but giving it five years to halt deterioration of the natural icon.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Diverse Corals Persist, But Bioerosion Escalates in Palau’s Low-pH Waters

June 6th, 2015

As the ocean absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide released by the burning of fossil fuels, its chemistry is changing.

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Boracay Experiencing Beach Erosion, 70% Coral Loss; Philippines

June 5th, 2015

According to a study conducted by Japanese and Filipino scientists, coral cover in Boracay Island declined by about 70.5 percent from 1988 to 2011, and the highest decrease in the 23-year period, was recorded between 2008 and 2011, as tourist arrivals rose by 38.4 percent…

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Great Barrier Reef: UNESCO Recommends World Heritage Site Not be Placed on ‘In Danger’ List

May 29th, 2015

World’s largest coral reef to remain on UN’s watchlist as draft ruling calls on Australia to ‘rigorously’ implement its conservation commitments. Environmental groups consider the reef – regardless of the Unesco ruling in June – technically in danger.

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Sri Lanka to become the first nation in the world to protect all its mangroves

May 12th, 2015

More than half the world’s mangroves have been lost over the last century but all of those surviving in Sri Lanka, one of their most important havens, are now to be protected in an unprecedented operation.

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After Oil Spill, Unique Mangrove Forest Faces More Threats

May 8th, 2015

On December 9, 2014, a wrecked tanker released approximately 94,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into the Shela River, which runs through the Sundarbans. Now another shipping disaster is unfolding, as a capsized cargo vessel, Jabalenoor, leaks 200 tonnes of potash fertilizer into the Sundarbans’ Bhola River, southeast of the earlier oil spill.

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Ocean-scale Dataset Allows Broad View of Human Influence on Pacific Coral Reef

April 2nd, 2015

A study draws on data from nearly 40 islands and atolls across the central and western Pacific, including 25 unpopulated islands, to investigate the relative influence of environmental variation and human presence on reef fish assemblages. The resulting message is sobering.

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Communities Leading the Way to Save Madagascar’s Mangroves

March 19th, 2015

A recent study carried out by the University of Antananarivo and Blue Ventures found that between 1990 and 2010, Ambanja and Ambaro Bays lost approximately 20 percent of their mangroves. In northwest Madagascar, charcoal production for urban markets is the biggest driver of this loss.

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Coastal Mangrove Squeeze in the Mekong Delta

March 16th, 2015

The role of mangrove forests in providing coastal zone stability and protection against flooding is increasingly recognized. The specific root, stem, and canopy system of mangroves is highly efficient in attenuating waves and currents. The sheltered environment created by a healthy mangrove forest offers great sedimentation potential.

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Despite Protections, Miami Port Project Smothers Coral Reef in Silt

March 8th, 2015

The government divers who plunged into the bay near the Port of Miami surfaced with bad news again and again: Large numbers of corals were either dead or dying, suffocated by sediment. The source of the sediment, environmentalists say, is a $205 million dredging project…

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Along Cuba’s Coast, The Last Best Coral Reef in the Caribbean Thrives

March 4th, 2015

While coral reef cover has declined by 50 percent throughout the Caribbean, Cuba has managed to retain some of the most pristine coral reef environments on earth. Lack of coastal development, limited tourism, small amounts of runoff flowing into the sea, tight controls on commercial fishing, and the establishment of extensive marine protected areas have all combined to give Cuba the most remarkable coral reef environments in the Caribbean.

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