Mangrove & Coral Destruction
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
The mangroves of Qeshm Island, are uniquely adapted to their brutal surroundings, which are characterized by searing heat, little rainfall, and high salinity.
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Australia’s natural wonder is in mortal danger. Bleaching caused by climate change has killed almost a quarter of its coral this year and many scientists believe it could be too late for the rest. Using photographs and new data, a Guardian special report investigates how the reef has been devastated – and what can be done to save it.
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The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on Earth, with more than 3,000 separate reefs and coral cays. It is also one of the most complex natural ecosystems, with 600 types of corals and thousands of animal species from tiny planktons to whales.
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There have been large scale diebacks of mangrove trees in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Scientists are not exactly sure what happened up there in the most remote areas of Queensland, but they know the damage is extensive and unprecedented.
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Experts have been focusing on hundreds of kilometres of mangroves along the coast in Queensland, that have turned a ghostly white. Serious concerns about the situation, which is compared to coral bleaching happening on the Great Barrier Reef, which is the result of warmer ocean temperatures, are raised.
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An international research team has studied the geographical pattern of the evolution of corals and reef fish. Their findings show that today’s geographical distribution of tropical marine diversity is the result of 100 million years of Earth history and the continental drifts that shifted the position of shallow reef habitats.
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Accelerated acidification of coastal waters has brought about structural decline of only reef in continental US, initially pegged by scientists at around 2050
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Students participated in a pilot programme called the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM), a project about mangrove education and restoration.
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An endangered species of mangrove previously found only in Asia has been discovered in far north Queensland. Environmentalists hope the discovery of mangrove species in north Queensland will aid calls for greater protection of fragile wetlands.
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