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

Endangered mangroves found in Cairns, Queensland

An endangered species of mangrove previously found only in Asia has been discovered in far north Queensland. Environmentalists hope the discovery of mangrove species in north Queensland will aid calls for greater protection of fragile wetlands.

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New database gives scientists hope for helping coral reefs

With the future of coral reefs threatened now more than ever, researchers have announced the release of a new global database that enables scientists and managers to more quickly and effectively help corals survive their many challenges.

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Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching hits “extreme level”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Survey shows Aussies’ love and concern for Great Barrier Reef


January 30th, 2016

A James Cook University researcher has found more than three quarters of Australians regard the Great Barrier Reef as part of their national identity and nearly 90 per cent believe it is under threat from climate change.

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The Great Barrier Reef Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

January 13th, 2016

Sir David Attenborough uses new technologies to create an interactive journey, highlighting the perils of climate change.

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NASA’s CORAL Campaign Will Raise Reef Studies to a New Level

January 8th, 2016

Coral reefs, sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, are home to a quarter of all ocean fish species. They protect shorelines from storms and provide food for millions of people, yet very little of the world’s reef area has been studied scientifically.

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Rice and palm oil risk to mangroves

January 4th, 2016

The threat posed by the development of rice and palm oil plantations to mangroves in South-East Asia has been underestimated, a study has suggested. Rice and oil plantations accounted for 38% of mangrove deforestation between 2000 and 2012, the research showed.

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March of the mangroves good news for blue carbon storage

December 19th, 2015

The carbon capture and storage capacity of wetland vegetation, known as blue carbon, makes coastal habitats some of the most carbon rich ecosystems on the planet. A new study by Australian environmental scientists investigating the impact of shifts in coastal vegetation over a 70 year period, provides unique insight into how blue carbon stocks change.

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Sixty years on, Attenborough back to Great Barrier Reef for new series


December 18th, 2015

British naturalist Sir David Attenborough first visited Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 1957, scuba-diving in its crystal clear waters along with an array of species. Nearly 60 years later, the 89-year-old returns to the world’s largest coral reef for a new television series, exploring the spectacular ecosystem.

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Coral reefs could be more vulnerable to coastal development than predicted

December 9th, 2015

For years, many scientists thought we had a secret weapon to protect coral reefs from nutrients flushed into the seas by human activity. But a new study sheds doubt on that idea, underscoring the importance of sustainable growth in coastal areas.

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Great Barrier Reef Protecting Against Landslides, Tsunamis

November 25th, 2015

The world-famous Australian reef is providing an effective barrier against landslide-induced tsunamis, new research shows.

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Preserving Mangroves Provides Protection and Food Security

November 16th, 2015

The aerial roots of the mangroves regulate tides and nurture the silt in the coastal ecosystem thereby sustaining diverse varieties of fish and crops…

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Sunscreen Chemical Imperils Coral Reefs Around the Globe

October 21st, 2015

Sunscreen contains a chemical – Oxybenzone – that scientists believe is causing massive damage to coral reefs worldwide and threatens their very existence, researchers warn.

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