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

Mangroves Can Counter Ocean Acidification, Study Reveals

Researchers discovered that mangrove forests can buffer ocean acidification because they are known to increase the alkalinity of the waters surrounding these ecosystems. The alkaline solutions can counter acidification

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In a Harsh Desert, a Watery Forest Survives

The mangroves of Qeshm Island, are uniquely adapted to their brutal surroundings, which are characterized by searing heat, little rainfall, and high salinity.

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The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare

Australia’s natural wonder is in mortal danger. Bleaching caused by climate change has killed almost a quarter of its coral this year and many scientists believe it could be too late for the rest. Using photographs and new data, a Guardian special report investigates how the reef has been devastated – and what can be done to save it.

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Great Barrier Reef Near Whitsunday Islands

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on Earth, with more than 3,000 separate reefs and coral cays. It is also one of the most complex natural ecosystems, with 600 types of corals and thousands of animal species from tiny planktons to whales.

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Queensland’s mangrove ecosystem dying in secret

There have been large scale diebacks of mangrove trees in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Scientists are not exactly sure what happened up there in the most remote areas of Queensland, but they know the damage is extensive and unprecedented.

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Mangroves die-off in Queensland’s Gulf Country and Limmen Bight

Experts have been focusing on hundreds of kilometres of mangroves along the coast in Queensland, that have turned a ghostly white. Serious concerns about the situation, which is compared to coral bleaching happening on the Great Barrier Reef, which is the result of warmer ocean temperatures, are raised.

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Continental drift created biologically diverse coral reefs

An international research team has studied the geographical pattern of the evolution of corals and reef fish. Their findings show that today’s geographical distribution of tropical marine diversity is the result of 100 million years of Earth history and the continental drifts that shifted the position of shallow reef habitats.

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Florida’s coral reefs rapidly ‘wasting away’ under stress of climate change

Accelerated acidification of coastal waters has brought about structural decline of only reef in continental US, initially pegged by scientists at around 2050

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Students Reviving Mangrove Wetlands, Bahamas

Students participated in a pilot programme called the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM), a project about mangrove education and restoration.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching hits “extreme level”

April 4th, 2016

Coral bleaching, a phenomenon that can result in the widespread die-off of coral life, is a serious problem facing the world’s oceans, and according to a new aerial survey of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, 95 percent of the reef’s northern section is now bleached, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

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Desert mangroves are major source of carbon storage, study shows

March 31st, 2016

Short, stunted mangroves living along the coastal desert of Baja California store up to five times more carbon below ground than their lush, tropical counterparts, researchers have found. The new study estimates that coastal desert mangroves, which only account for 1 percent of the land area, store nearly 30 percent of the region’s belowground carbon.

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Sinking a Mexican Navy Warship: A GoPro Awards Video

March 11th, 2016

The Uribe 121, a former Mexican Navy battleship, was sunk 1.2 miles off the coast of Rosario, Mexico, to create the first artificial reef in Baja California.

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Organic shrimp farmers protect mangrove forests

March 6th, 2016

After three years of implementation of the Mangroves and Markets Project (MAM), shrimp farmers have become more aware of organic production techniques and the need to preserve mangrove forests in their areas.

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Thousands to march against coal plant threat to mangrove

March 5th, 2016

Thousands of Bangladeshis will march from Dhaka to the world’s biggest mangrove forest next week in protest at plans to build two coal-power plants on the edge of the World Heritage-listed forest.

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Cancún’s mangroves destroyed, but hope grows again

February 26th, 2016

A Mexican court has issued an injunction blocking further work on a real estate project in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancun that activists say has almost killed a 57 hectares mangrove swamp at the site.

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Crisis Response: When Trees Stop Storms and Deserts in Asia

February 25th, 2016

A history of deforestation has made Asian nations like Vietnam, China and South Korea especially vulnerable to coastal storms, floods and sandstorms. Yet just as these nations have experienced similar crises, they’re also all pursuing a solution—restoring degraded landscapes.

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Coastal Kenyan villages bringing their mangrove forest back to life

February 24th, 2016

A community on Kenya’s east coast is fighting climate change with its own mangrove restoration, conservation and carbon-trading project

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El Niño prolongs longest global coral bleaching event

February 24th, 2016

Global warming and the current intense El Niño are prolonging the longest global coral die-off on record, according to NOAA scientists, who will will present the latest global bleaching update and outlook Friday, Feb. 26 at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans.

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Seeing the Reef for the Corals

January 31st, 2016

The rainforests of the sea, are one of the most prized ecosystems in the ocean. Coral reefs are home to about a quarter of all ocean fish species, making them hot spots of biodiversity. They protect shorelines from storms, provide food for millions of people, and provide economic benefits by encouraging tourism. Despite their value, few of the world’s reefs have been studied.

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