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

Saving Fiji’s Coral Reefs Linked to Forest Conservation Upstream

The health of coral reefs offshore depend on the protection of forests near the sea, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society that outlines the importance of terrestrial protected areas to coastal biodiversity.

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Better Protection for Mangroves With Models for Successful Seedling Establishment

Seedlings of mangroves do not have an easy time to get established. Many forces of nature work against their anchorage in the soil.

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Safety In Numbers? Not So For Corals

A new study revealed that global changes in climate and ocean chemistry affect corals whether scare or abundant, and often it is the dominant, abundant corals with wide distributions that are affected the most.

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3D-Printed Artificial Reefs Bring Back Sea Life in Persian Gulf

Reef Arabia, a team of artificial reef designers that includes reef experts from Bahrain as well as members from Australia’s Sustainable Oceans International, has started 3D printing reef formations and sinking them off Bahrain’s coast, where overfishing has had a major impact on the health of marine life there.

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Mangroves Help Guyana Defend Against Changing Climate

Approximately 90 percent of Guyana’s population lives on a narrow coastline strip a half to one metre below sea level…

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Cuba’s Mangroves Dying of Thirst

In the 1960s, the Cuban government declared that storage of fresh water for times of drought or hurricanes was a matter of national security, and it began to dam up the country’s rivers. But that policy has claimed an unforeseen victim: mangroves.

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Sponges Help Coral Reefs Thrive In Ocean Deserts

The mystery of how coral reefs thrive in “ocean deserts” has been solved, scientists say.

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How Not to Love Nature: Shove a Coal Plant Next to Earth’s Biggest Mangrove Forest

Tigers have long provided the best defense for Bangladesh’s Sundarbans National Park, the planet’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage site. These days, however, environmentalists are alarmed by a more insidious threat to the park’s future: a massive 1,320-MW coal-fired power plant that’s due to be constructed just 14 km away, in the city of Rampal.

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A Quest For Resilient Reefs

All the coral reefs in the world together occupy less than one percent of the ocean seafloor, a tiny area of the global ocean. Yet 25 percent all ocean species, an estimated 9 million species, are found on coral reefs. Also, coral reefs are barriers that protect coastlines from sea-level rise and storm surges. It is estimated that coral reefs provide about $375 billion to the global economy each year.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Madang Lagoon, Papua New Guinea

March 3rd, 2013

A vast array of new species was recently discovered in the world’s most spectacular reef you’ve never heard of, Madang Lagoon in Papua New Guinea.

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Australian Government Pledges To Protect Great Barrier Reef

February 2nd, 2013

The Australian government pledged to stop coal port or shipping developments that would cause damage to the Great Barrier Reef as it responded to a Friday deadline amid UN warnings that the reef’s conservation status could be downgraded.

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Champion of the Mangroves, Union Island, the Grenadines

December 16th, 2012

On Union Island, Ann Harvey’s story of the mangroves demonstrates the protective power of nature and green infrastructure, while a recent UN report showed that valuable mangrove forests worldwide, are being wrecked by the shrimp and fish farms.

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Race Is On to Save Sweden’s Only Coral Reef

October 22nd, 2012

Despite the frosty scenes its name evokes, Sweden has a coral reef. In fact, it formerly had three, and the last one remaining is in danger of dying out.

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Half Of The Great Barrier Of Reef Lost In 3 Decades

October 2nd, 2012

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a glittering gem, the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, chock-full of diverse marine life. But new research shows it is also in steep decline, with half of the reef vanishing in the past 27 years.

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Great Barrier Reef Is Heating Up

September 29th, 2012

The waters of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are getting warmer, satellite measurements show, which spells bad news for the myriad creatures that dwell in this rain forest of the ocean.

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Limiting Global Warming To 2 °C Is Unlikely To Save Most Coral Reefs

September 17th, 2012

Coral reefs face severe challenges even if global warming is restricted to the 2 degrees Celsius commonly perceived as safe for many natural and human-made systems.

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Coral Reef Thriving in Sediment-Laden Waters

August 1st, 2012

A new study has established that Middle Reef, part of Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, has grown more rapidly than many other reefs in areas with lower levels of sediment stress.

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World’s Northernmost Coral Reef Discovered in Japan

July 31st, 2012

When most of us think of coral reefs, probably do we picture scuba divers gliding through warm, crystal-clear waters. And for the most part, we’d be right: more than 90 percent of the world’s coral reefs are located in the tropics.

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Mangroves: A Filter for Heavy Metals

July 25th, 2012

A mangrove is a forest consisting of various species of mangrove trees growing with their bases submerged in water, at the interface between land and sea. They cover more than three quarters of tropical coastlines, that is to say almost 200,000km². In New Caledonia, they accounts for almost 80% of the island’s western coastline.

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