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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per year

October 22nd, 2011

A peer-reviewed study commissioned by NOAA shows the American people assign an estimated total economic value of $33.57 billion for the coral reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands.

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Study Uncovers a Predictable Sequence Toward Coral Reef Collapse

September 28th, 2011

Using data from coral reef systems across the western Indian Ocean, researchers identified how overfishing creates a series of at least eight big changes on reefs that precipitate a final collapse. This information can help assessing the health of a reef and tell when to restrict fishing in order to avoid a collapse of the ecosystem and fishery.

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Fears in Miami That Port Expansion Will Destroy Reefs

September 6th, 2011

As Miami prepares to dredge its port to accommodate supersize freighters, environmentalists are making a last-ditch effort to protect threatened coral reefs and acres of sea grass that they say would be destroyed by the expansion.

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Haitian Divers Hope to Aid Ailing Reef

September 3rd, 2011

Environmental degradation is rife in Haiti, deforestation, erosion, pollution, and for the most part it is hard to miss. But for decades the country’s marine environment has suffered unseen. Its extensive coral reef system, an attraction to foreign scuba divers in the 1970s and ’80s, has largely died off, partly from sedimentation and climate change, but mostly from overfishing.

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Worldwide Map Identifies Important Coral Reefs Exposed to Stress

August 12th, 2011

The world’s coral reefs face a multitude of threats, from rising ocean temperatures to overfishing. A new map aimed at aiding coral conservation has been developed that points out the reefs that are most and least at risk.

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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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