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

Top Marine Scientists Warn Reefs In Rapid Decline

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

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

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

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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Fishermen Blast Premier Dive Sites off Indonesia

Coral gardens that were among Asia’s most spectacular, teeming with colorful sea life just a few months ago, have been transformed into desolate gray moonscapes by illegal fishermen who use explosives or cyanide to kill or stun their prey.The site is among several to have been hit inside Komodo National Park.

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Under Climate Change, Winners and Losers On the Coral Reef

As ocean temperatures rise, some species of corals are likely to succeed at the expense of others, according to a new report that details the first large-scale investigation of climate effects on corals.

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Google Earth Tour of Reefs at Risk, Video

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

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

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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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Geographic Analysis Offers New Insight Into Coral Disease Spread

July 29th, 2011

In the last 30 years, more than 90 percent of the reef-building coral responsible for maintaining major marine habitats and providing a natural barrier against hurricanes in the Caribbean has disappeared because of a disease of unknown origin.

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Reaching The Gap Between Scientists And Policy Makers

July 19th, 2011

Dr. Sylvia Earle, world-renowned oceanographer, joined a team of scientists and government officials, on a week-long expedition “the Mission Blue expedition” to the Swan Islands and Mesoamerican Reef to raise global awareness of the critical importance of the Mesoamerican Reef and surrounding areas.

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Outrage At Drilling Permit For Australia Reef

July 8th, 2011

UNESCO just listed Australian western Ningaloo coast as a World Heritage site late last month due to its reef, sea turtles and white whales.But environmentalists expressed outrage after the Australian government green-lighted a proposal from Shell to explore for gas nearby.

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Capt. Kidd Shipwreck Site to Be Dedicated Living Museum of the Sea

May 8th, 2011

This unique museum, resting in less than 10 feet of water just 70 feet from Dominican Republic’s shoreline, will give divers the opportunity to see the 17th century ship remains, which rest on the ocean’s floor and will serve as home to sea creatures and protect precious corals and other threatened biodiversity in the surrounding reef systems.

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Mangroves excel at storing climate-warming carbon

April 25th, 2011

Mangroves store two to four times the carbon that tropical rainforests do. Part of the reason for mangroves’ efficiency in keeping carbon locked away lies in their location in tidal zones, where their roots are often covered with sea water.

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New Caledonia’s Lagoon: Better Understanding for Better Protection

April 21st, 2011

New Caledonia possesses the second largest coral reef lagoon on Earth and harbours an exceptional biodiversity. The island is also the world’s third most important nickel producer. Ore extraction over the 20th Century has in places tripled the input of sediments and accompanying pollutants, such as metals, in the marine environment.

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Bioengineering Uses Vetiver Grass to Save Coral Reefs Near Guam

April 13th, 2011

The vetiver grass system is a unique, economical and effective bioengineering technology for protecting coral reefs. It is also expected that these vetiver hedges may even be able to protect the beach area against tidal surge once their root systems are well established.

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Last Chance Beach, Battling Erosion in Barbados

February 25th, 2011

Around Barbados, the most serious threat to the beaches is the loss of coral reefs through nearshore pollution, primarily caused by domestic sewage, and physical clearing. As the reefs die, they lose their ability to reduce the energy and erosive force of incoming waves.

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Sundarbans’ Tigers Further Pushed Towards Extinction by Rising Sea Levels

February 24th, 2011

An expected sea level rise of 28 cm above 2000 levels may cause the remaining tiger habitat in the Sundarbans to decline by 96 percent, pushing the total population to fewer than 20 breeding tigers, according to a study.

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Acid Oceans Demand Greater Reef Care

February 17th, 2011

The more humanity acidifies and warms the world’s oceans with carbon emissions, the harder we will have to work to save our coral reefs.

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