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

NASA’s CORAL Campaign Will Raise Reef Studies to a New Level

Coral reefs, sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, are home to a quarter of all ocean fish species. They protect shorelines from storms and provide food for millions of people, yet very little of the world’s reef area has been studied scientifically.

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Rice and palm oil risk to mangroves

The threat posed by the development of rice and palm oil plantations to mangroves in South-East Asia has been underestimated, a study has suggested. Rice and oil plantations accounted for 38% of mangrove deforestation between 2000 and 2012, the research showed.

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March of the mangroves good news for blue carbon storage

The carbon capture and storage capacity of wetland vegetation, known as blue carbon, makes coastal habitats some of the most carbon rich ecosystems on the planet. A new study by Australian environmental scientists investigating the impact of shifts in coastal vegetation over a 70 year period, provides unique insight into how blue carbon stocks change.

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Sixty years on, Attenborough back to Great Barrier Reef for new series

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British naturalist Sir David Attenborough first visited Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 1957, scuba-diving in its crystal clear waters along with an array of species. Nearly 60 years later, the 89-year-old returns to the world’s largest coral reef for a new television series, exploring the spectacular ecosystem.

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Coral reefs could be more vulnerable to coastal development than predicted

For years, many scientists thought we had a secret weapon to protect coral reefs from nutrients flushed into the seas by human activity. But a new study sheds doubt on that idea, underscoring the importance of sustainable growth in coastal areas.

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Great Barrier Reef Protecting Against Landslides, Tsunamis

The world-famous Australian reef is providing an effective barrier against landslide-induced tsunamis, new research shows.

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Preserving Mangroves Provides Protection and Food Security

The aerial roots of the mangroves regulate tides and nurture the silt in the coastal ecosystem thereby sustaining diverse varieties of fish and crops…

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Sunscreen Chemical Imperils Coral Reefs Around the Globe

Sunscreen contains a chemical – Oxybenzone – that scientists believe is causing massive damage to coral reefs worldwide and threatens their very existence, researchers warn.

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Rising Seas Will Drown Mangrove Forests Around the Indo-Pacific Region

Even with relatively low sea-level rises, mangrove forests around the Indo-Pacific region could be submerged by 2070, international research says. However the outlook in other parts of the world, where there are relatively large tidal ranges and/or higher sediment supply, was more positive.

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Recent / Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Sunscreen Chemical Imperils Coral Reefs Around the Globe

October 21st, 2015

Sunscreen contains a chemical – Oxybenzone – that scientists believe is causing massive damage to coral reefs worldwide and threatens their very existence, researchers warn.

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Rising Seas Will Drown Mangrove Forests Around the Indo-Pacific Region

October 15th, 2015

Even with relatively low sea-level rises, mangrove forests around the Indo-Pacific region could be submerged by 2070, international research says. However the outlook in other parts of the world, where there are relatively large tidal ranges and/or higher sediment supply, was more positive.

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Indonesia’s Protest Generation And Biggest Punk Band Are Fighting Land Reclamation

October 12th, 2015

The protest, last summer, was just the latest surrounding a planned development that will “reclaim” 700-plus hectares of land from Benoa Bay, and its adjacent mangrove swamps, at the eastern end of Bali’s international airport, to create a number of Dubai-esque islands, hosting villas, luxury hotels, a golf course, and possibly even an amusement park.

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Scientists: Major Coral Bleaching Crisis Spreads Worldwide

October 8th, 2015

The bleaching of colorful coral is spreading into a worldwide, devastating crisis, scientists say, and they predict it will likely get worse.

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Living Gallery to Help Conserve Mangroves in Singapore

October 7th, 2015

An area will be set aside at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve coastal trail, for a living gallery of mangrove trees, comprising about half of the true species in the world, in a move to conserve these plants.

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The Micronesia Challenge: Sustainable Coral Reefs and Fisheries

September 27th, 2015

While island societies can do little to control carbon emissions from developed nations, they can manage their local resources to enhance the ecosystem services that coastal habitats, including reefs, provide for people.

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Scientists Expect Hawaii’s Worst Coral Bleaching Ever

September 12th, 2015

Warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures around Hawaii this year will likely lead to the worst coral bleaching the islands have ever seen.

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Stop Mangrove Destruction In Indonesia To Slow Climate Change

August 13th, 2015

The loss of Indonesia’s coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions, writes Prodita Sabarini. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win.

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Bering Sea Hotspot for Corals and Sponges

August 1st, 2015

North of the Aleutian Islands, submarine canyons in the cold waters of the eastern Bering Sea contain a highly productive “green belt” that is home to deep-water corals as well as a plethora of fish and marine mammals.

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Mangroves Help Protect Against Sea Level Rise

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July 27th, 2015

Mangrove forests could play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas from sea level rise caused by climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.

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