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

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

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

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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Ship crashes into ‘pristine’ coral reef, captain may be charged

The captain of a cruise ship could be charged after his boat rammed into a pristine coral reef. The 297-foot (90.6 meter) MS Caledonian Sky crashed into the reefs at Raja Ampat on March 4. Raja Ampat is frequently included on lists of the the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and is often described as an “untouched” beach paradise.

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War on global warming only way to save world’s coral, study says

Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Ship crashes into ‘pristine’ coral reef, captain may be charged

March 16th, 2017

The captain of a cruise ship could be charged after his boat rammed into a pristine coral reef. The 297-foot (90.6 meter) MS Caledonian Sky crashed into the reefs at Raja Ampat on March 4. Raja Ampat is frequently included on lists of the the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and is often described as an “untouched” beach paradise.

Read More

War on global warming only way to save world’s coral, study says

March 16th, 2017

Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.

Read More

Greenpeace images show Great Barrier Reef suffering coral bleaching for second year in a row

March 10th, 2017

Greenpeace Australia Pacific today releases shocking photos and footage documenting the Great Barrier Reef’s first severe coral bleaching to happen two years in a row. The bleaching is the result of 12 months of above-average sea temperatures, which is “cooking the reef alive”.

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50 Reefs Initiative Is Good News For Coral Reefs

March 9th, 2017

Coral reefs are in crisis. The facts are clear: without a different approach to conservation, coral reefs will continue to decline toward extinction. However, an announcement last week in Bali, Indonesia gave us some new reasons to be hopeful.

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