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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

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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The Silent Evolution: A Coral Reef Sculpture

November 12th, 2010

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor recently completed work on one of the most surreal and awe-inspiring artificial reefs in Cancun/Isla Mujeres, Mexico, in an effort to promote the recovery of nearby natural reefs.

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Scientists find damage to coral near BP well

November 6th, 2010

For the government, the findings were a departure from earlier statements.

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Root of the Matter: Mangrove as Lives Saver When Natural Disaster Strikes

October 28th, 2010

Countless people clung to life in the branches of mangrove trees hemming the shorelines during the deadly 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 coastal residents in Indonesia, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

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Call to Heal World’s Reefs

October 10th, 2010

There is still time to save the world’s ailing coral reefs, if prompt and decisive action can be taken to improve their overall health, leading marine researchers said, in a major scientific symposium in Canberra, October 7th and 8th.

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Copenhagen Accord Loopholes and Risks to the “Rainforests of the Sea”

October 2nd, 2010

A global temperature increase of up to 4.2 º C and the end of coral reefs, the “Rainforests of the Sea,” could become reality by 2100 if national targets are not revised in the Copenhagen Accord.

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The Louder the Reef, the Better Its Health

September 25th, 2010

This finding could change the way scientists monitor reefs.

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Oil spill off Mumbai coast: tangible damage to mangroves

August 24th, 2010

The oil slick from two ships colliding on August 7th off Mumbai coast, was found to have destroyed more than 300 hectares of mangroves and lapped the Elephanta coast.

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Mangroves worldwide: a global loss of tidal forests

July 27th, 2010

Mangroves Report Reveals, threats and opportunities to global economy and the Planet.

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