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

Australian Government’s Great Barrier Reef Plans’ Questioned

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

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

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

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

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

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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Mangrove Reforestation In Belize

CORAL’s (Coral Reef Alliance) mangrove reforestation project in San Pedro, Belize is thriving. Recent monitoring reports reveal that ninety percent of the mangroves planted by the local community have survived.

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Rowley Shoals, Timor Sea

Located off the northwestern Australia coastline, the coral reef atolls known as Rowley Shoals, is of impressive biodiversity with 233 coral species and 688 fish species.

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Coastal Vegetation Could Blunt Tsunami’s Deadly Impact

A study estimates that the death toll of the devastating 2004 tsunami along Indonesia’s West Aceh coast would have been smaller had there been enough coastal vegetation to dull the blow and shield the coastal settlements from the shoreline.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Jamaica’s Land Reclamation and Coral reefs Damages

February 4th, 2011

The problem-plagued Historic Falmouth Port has been plunged into a fresh round of controversy as green lobbyists are insisting that 20 hectares of coral and seagrass cover have been damaged due to the development.

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18 Diving Sites Closed to Save Coral Reefs, Thailand

January 21st, 2011

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

January 15th, 2011

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

January 8th, 2011

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

December 10th, 2010

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

November 24th, 2010

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

November 20th, 2010

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

November 16th, 2010

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

November 13th, 2010

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

November 12th, 2010

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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