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

A Better Eye on Reefs, Australia

Claremont Isles National Park, where coastal waters are protected as part of Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Site, are important habitat and breeding grounds for seabirds, and they are off-limits to humans.

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Coal Development Threatens Great Barrier Reef

A group of respected coral reef scientists has released a declaration intended to change how the Australian government manages development in the coastal region bordering the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Report Finds 85% of Reefs in the Coral Triangle Are Threatened: Now Available in Bahasa Indonesian

Indonesia is home to 16% of the world’s coral reefs (second only to Australia in total reef area) and the highest reef-associated population in the world, with nearly 60 million people living on the coast near coral reefs. The bahasa Indonesia edition of this report is intended to inform local and national decision-makers of the status of the country’s coral reefs and support coastal management activities in Indonesia.

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Vietnam’s Mangroves, A Video

This film highlights the threat to Vietnam’s coastal mangrove forests.

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Particles From Fossil Fuels Affect The Growth Of Corals

Researchers have found the strongest evidence yet that aerosols from burning fossil fuels are affecting coral growth.

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Western Australia’s Scott Reef Has Recovered from Mass Bleaching

Isolated coral reefs can recover from catastrophic damage as effectively as those with nearby undisturbed neighbours, a long-term study by marine biologists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) has shown.

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Madang Lagoon, Papua New Guinea

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

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

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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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Google Earth Tour of Reefs at Risk, Video

April 10th, 2012

The Reefs at Risk project raises awareness of threats to coral reefs around the world, and provides information and tools to manage coastal habitats more effectively.

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Rising Ocean Temperatures and Protected Coral Reefs

March 16th, 2012

Special conservation zones known as marine protected areas provide many direct benefits to fisheries and coral reefs. However, such zones appear to offer limited help to corals in their battle against global warming, according to a new study.

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When It Comes to Creating Wetlands, Mother Nature Is in Charge

March 9th, 2012

Fifteen years of studying two experimental wetlands has convinced a researcher that turning the reins over to Mother Nature makes the most sense when it comes to this area of ecological restoration.

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UN Team Examines Mining Threat to Great Barrier of Reef

March 6th, 2012

A UN team has arrived in Australia to investigate possible damage to the Great Barrier Reef by the mining industry.

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Australian Government’s Great Barrier Reef Plans’ Questioned

February 26th, 2012

A monitoring mission from the UN educational and cultural arm, UNESCO, will visit Queensland next month to examine concerns about major port developments and other potential threats to the World Heritage listed reef, as WWF challenged the Australian Government’s view that the Great Barrier Reef is being sustainably managed, citing publications showing that coral had declined by up to 50 per cent.

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Staghorn Coral Transplanted to Threatened Reef

February 18th, 2012

In a delicate operation at sea, healthy staghorn coral were transplanted to a threatened reef off the Broward County coast, Florida, by researchers at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center and its internal National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI).

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Pyramids Planted to Revive Philippine Corals

February 9th, 2012

Thousands of small “pyramids” are being planted off the Philippines’ famous Boracay’s coast in an effort to bring its nearly destroyed coral reefs back to life, an environment group said Thursday.

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Detecting Detrimental Change in Coral Reefs

January 28th, 2012

Over dinner on R.V. Calypso while anchored on the lee side of Glover’s Reef in Belize, Jacques Cousteau told Phil Dustan that he suspected humans were having a negative impact on coral reefs. Dustan, a young ocean ecologist who had worked in the lush coral reefs of the Caribbean and Sinai Peninsula, found this difficult to believe. It was December 1974… and Cousteau was right.

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Mangrove: The Root Of The Matter

November 30th, 2011

In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami disaster that struck Indonesia, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey explored how these unique trees hemming the shorelines, which make up valuable forest ecosystems called mangroves, help safeguard lives, property and beaches during hurricanes, tsunamis and floods.

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Mining to blame for islands to sink beneath waves

November 22nd, 2011

Two small islands in South Asia’s first marine biosphere reserve, in the Gulf of Mannar, between India and Sri Lanka, did sink into the sea primarily as a result of coral reef mining, experts said. The corals were mined for use as a binding material in the construction industry, as they were rich in calcium carbonate.

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