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

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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Eilat’s Corals Stand Better Chance of Resilience Than Other Sites

While the frequency of coral bleaching is globally increasing, no bleaching event has been observed in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, even when nominally bleaching conditions prevail.

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Clues in Coral Bleaching Mystery

Coral reefs are tremendously important for ocean biodiversity, as well as for the economic and aesthetic value they provide to their surrounding communities. Unfortunately they have been in great decline in recent years, much of it due to the effects of global climate change.

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Where Can Coral Reefs Relocate to Escape the Heat?

The best real estate for coral reefs over the coming decades will no longer be around the equator but in the sub-tropics, new research from the University of Bristol suggests.

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‘Street-View’ Comes to the World’s Coral Reefs

Scientists are taking the public with them to study the world’s coral reefs, thanks to 360 degree panoramas from Google’s underwater street-view format. Only 1% of humanity has ever dived on a coral reef and by making the experience easily accessible the survey will help alert millions of people around the world to the plight of coral reefs…

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Bombs Dropped on Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

great-barrier-reef

Two American fighter jets dropped four unarmed bombs into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park last week, when a training exercise went wrong, the US Navy said, angering environmentalists…

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

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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Coral Reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean Naturally Tougher Than Caribbean Reefs

July 16th, 2012

Coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Great Barrier Reef, recover faster from major stresses than their Caribbean counterparts, leading marine scientists have said.

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Top Marine Scientists Warn Reefs In Rapid Decline

July 10th, 2012

More than 2,600 of the world’s top marine scientists warned coral reefs around the world were in rapid decline and urged immediate global action on climate change to save what remains.

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Natural Climate Change Shut Down Pacific Reefs: Study

July 6th, 2012

A period of intense, natural changes in climate caused coral reefs in the eastern Pacific to shut down thousands of years ago, and human-induced pollution could worsen the trend in the future, scientists said. Join over 2,000 scientists from around the world in endorsing a Consensus Statement urging governments to take action for the preservation of coral reefs for the benefit of present and future generations.

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Twenty Beaches Affected by Extreme Coastal Erosion, Java

June 22nd, 2012

Lack of mangrove plantations at the southern coast of Malang district, East Java, has caused severe abrasion of shorelines along at least 20 beaches in the region, according to officials.

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Pacific Islands May Become Refuge for Corals in a Warming Climate, Study Finds

April 30th, 2012

Scientists have predicted that ocean temperatures will rise in the equatorial Pacific by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. But a new study shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a surprising way…

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