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

Coral reefs could be more vulnerable to coastal development than predicted

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

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

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

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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Rising Seas Will Drown Mangrove Forests Around the Indo-Pacific Region

Even with relatively low sea-level rises, mangrove forests around the Indo-Pacific region could be submerged by 2070, international research says. However the outlook in other parts of the world, where there are relatively large tidal ranges and/or higher sediment supply, was more positive.

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Indonesia’s Protest Generation And Biggest Punk Band Are Fighting Land Reclamation

The protest, last summer, was just the latest surrounding a planned development that will “reclaim” 700-plus hectares of land from Benoa Bay, and its adjacent mangrove swamps, at the eastern end of Bali’s international airport, to create a number of Dubai-esque islands, hosting villas, luxury hotels, a golf course, and possibly even an amusement park.

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Scientists: Major Coral Bleaching Crisis Spreads Worldwide

The bleaching of colorful coral is spreading into a worldwide, devastating crisis, scientists say, and they predict it will likely get worse.

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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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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Coral Bleaching Threat Increasing in Western Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

July 8th, 2015

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

July 1st, 2015

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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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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