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.


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18 Diving Sites Closed to Save Coral Reefs, Thailand

More than 80 percent of the corals at 18 dive sites have undergone bleaching, a symptom of severe stress caused by excessively warm water temperatures. Some of Thailand’s most popular diving sites are now off-limits to tourists for up to 14 months to allow damaged coral to recover.

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Sea Urchins and Overfishing Impact on Kenya Coast’s Reefs

An 18-year study of Kenya’s coral reefs by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of California at Santa Cruz has found that overfished reef systems have more sea urchins, organisms that in turn eat coral algae that build tropical reef systems.

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Drawing up a Global “Red List” of Vanishing Ecosystems

Now scientists are figuring out how to catalog and map the world’s most threatened ecosystems, such as mangrove, just like their familiar list of endangered species.

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Some Coral Reefs Less Vulnerable to Rising Sea Temperatures

The findings hold promise for an estimated 100 million people living along the coasts of tropical developing countries whose livelihoods and welfare depend directly on coral reefs.

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Scientists Call for Protection and Better Management for Australian Reefs

The eastern subtropical coastline, and increasingly the west too, are among Australia’s fastest-growing regions, throwing surging human pressures on ecosystems.

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The Last of The Sea Nomads

For generations they have lived on the ocean, diving and fishing, and rarely setting foot on land. But now the marine nomads risk destroying the reefs that sustain them. It’s a common story throughout the Coral Triangle.

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Caribbean Reef Ecosystems May Not Survive Repeated Stress

Coral reefs suffered now record losses as a consequence of high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean in 2005, according to the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date.

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Rare Cold Water Coral Discovered off the Coast of Mauritania

A rare cold water coral reef has been discovered off the coast of Mauritania in Northern Africa, the first time such a reef has been found this far south.

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Third Nuclear Power Plant Discharge Destroying Kenting’s Reefs

Thermal discharge from the Third Nuclear Power Plant is behind the rapid destruction of Kenting National Park’s coral reef, Taiwan.

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