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

Unique coral reef at risk as oil companies plan to drill near Amazon river mouth

Oil companies planning to drill near a vast coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon river have calculated that the unique ecosystem has a 30% chance of being affected in the event of an oil spill. The unique reef system astonished marine biologists when its existence was widely revealed last year, and is believed it could be the home for dozens of previously unknown species.

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Alarm as mangrove forests at the Kenyan Coast rapidly disappear

A recent study carried out at Tudor Creek – the water body separating Mombasa Island from the mainland – shows that more than 80 per cent of mangroves along the Indian Ocean coast in the area have been wiped out.

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Paris agreement’s 1.5C target ‘only way’ to save coral reefs, Unesco says

First global assessment of climate change impact on world heritage-listed reefs says local efforts are ‘no longer sufficient’…

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Lessons on conservation from ‘the land of eternal mangroves’

Sri Lanka is working on mangrove forest protection measures that have been praised as the first of their kind in the world. And while recent heavy rains may have destroyed seedlings, they have only strengthened the determination of the government and its partners to continue their work on mangrove conservation and restoration.

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Port Launay: The Last Mangroves of the Seychelles

When French settlers first arrived in the remote islands of the Seychelles, thick mangrove forests fringed the western shore of Mahe, the largest of the islands in the archipelago.

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Impact of 2004 Asian tsunami could have been reduced with mangroves

Many of Indonesia’s mangrove forests were cleared before 2004 for shrimp farms (aquaculture) – subsequent research showed that mangroves and other forests could help protect coastlines and people from the force of tsunamis, hurricanes, and rising sea levels.

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Slathering on sunscreen at the beach? It may be destroying coral reefs

Studies show that oxybenzone, a common chemical found particularly in spray-on sunscreens, contributes to coral bleaching and leaves reefs deformed.

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A Close-Up Look at the Catastrophic Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

Scientists are reporting the second mass bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef in the last year. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, researcher Terry Hughes says these events have damaged two-thirds of the world’s largest coral reef and are directly caused by global warming.

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Thirsty mangroves cause unprecedented dieback; Australia’s northern coast

Scientists have discovered why, in early 2016, there was an unprecedented dieback of 7400 hectares of mangroves, which stretched for 1000 kilometres along the Gulf of Carpentaria – the plants died of thirst.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Alarm as mangrove forests at the Kenyan Coast rapidly disappear

July 6th, 2017

A recent study carried out at Tudor Creek – the water body separating Mombasa Island from the mainland – shows that more than 80 per cent of mangroves along the Indian Ocean coast in the area have been wiped out.

Read More

Paris agreement’s 1.5C target ‘only way’ to save coral reefs, Unesco says

June 23rd, 2017

First global assessment of climate change impact on world heritage-listed reefs says local efforts are ‘no longer sufficient’…

Read More

Lessons on conservation from ‘the land of eternal mangroves’

June 21st, 2017

Sri Lanka is working on mangrove forest protection measures that have been praised as the first of their kind in the world. And while recent heavy rains may have destroyed seedlings, they have only strengthened the determination of the government and its partners to continue their work on mangrove conservation and restoration.

Read More

Port Launay: The Last Mangroves of the Seychelles

May 8th, 2017

When French settlers first arrived in the remote islands of the Seychelles, thick mangrove forests fringed the western shore of Mahe, the largest of the islands in the archipelago.

Read More

Impact of 2004 Asian tsunami could have been reduced with mangroves

May 3rd, 2017

Many of Indonesia’s mangrove forests were cleared before 2004 for shrimp farms (aquaculture) – subsequent research showed that mangroves and other forests could help protect coastlines and people from the force of tsunamis, hurricanes, and rising sea levels.

Read More

Slathering on sunscreen at the beach? It may be destroying coral reefs

April 29th, 2017

Studies show that oxybenzone, a common chemical found particularly in spray-on sunscreens, contributes to coral bleaching and leaves reefs deformed.

Read More

A Close-Up Look at the Catastrophic Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

April 10th, 2017

Scientists are reporting the second mass bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef in the last year. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, researcher Terry Hughes says these events have damaged two-thirds of the world’s largest coral reef and are directly caused by global warming.

Read More

Thirsty mangroves cause unprecedented dieback; Australia’s northern coast

April 6th, 2017

Scientists have discovered why, in early 2016, there was an unprecedented dieback of 7400 hectares of mangroves, which stretched for 1000 kilometres along the Gulf of Carpentaria – the plants died of thirst.

Read More

Corals Die as Global Warming Collides with Local Weather in the South China Sea

March 27th, 2017

In the South China Sea, a 2°C rise in the sea surface temperature in June 2015 was amplified to produce a 6°C rise on Dongsha Atoll, a shallow coral reef ecosystem, killing approximately 40 percent of the resident coral community according to a study published in Scientific Reports this week.

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Dead zones may threaten coral reefs worldwide

March 23rd, 2017

Dead zones affect dozens of coral reefs around the world and threaten hundreds more according to a new study. Watching a massive coral reef die-off on the Caribbean coast of Panama, they suspected it was caused by a dead zone – a low-oxygen area that snuffs out marine life – rather than by ocean warming or acidification.

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