Category Archives: Mangrove and Coral Destruction

Key West bans some sunscreens to protect coral reefs

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Officials in Key West, the popular Florida holiday destination, have decided to ban the sale of sunscreens containing certain chemicals blamed for harming the only living coral reef found in the continental US.

The Key West city commission voted 6-1 on Tuesday to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate within the island city…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (02-07-2019)

Mangrove patches deserve greater recognition no matter the size

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Governments must provide stronger protection for crucial small mangrove patches, experts say.

With nearly 35% of mangroves lost from around the world since the 1980s, primarily due to coastal development, the future loss of seemingly small mangrove patches to new construction projects such as airports or aquaculture is extremely worrying for coastal communities…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (01-18-2019)

As Disease Ravages Coral Reefs, Scientists Scramble for Solutions

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


As oceans warm, coral reefs are suffering not only from bleaching but from deadly outbreaks of disease. Researchers are developing remedies, but the key question is whether these solutions can work on a large-enough scale to save vast reef systems from Florida to Australia…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (01-10-2019)

Sunscreen and cosmetics compound may harm coral by altering fatty acids

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Although sunscreen is critical for preventing sunburns and skin cancer, some of its ingredients are not so beneficial to ocean-dwelling creatures. In particular, sunscreen chemicals shed by swimmers are thought to contribute to coral reef decline.

Now, researchers say that one such chemical, octocrylene (OC), which is also in some cosmetics and hair products, accumulates in coral as fatty acid esters that could be toxic to the marine organism…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (01-09-2019)

Sprouting Mangroves Restore Hopes in Coastal Myanmar

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


In most places, mangrove forest’s density is wafer thin thanks to rampant clearing of the mangroves for space to breed shrimps and for firewood etc. According to a recent study, Myanmar loses about 21 square km of its mangrove forests each year.

But thanks to restoration efforts, the story is changing…

Read Full Article; IPS News (01-04-2019)

Conserving Canada’s Diverse Marine Life

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Despite the deep, cold waters, newly discovered undersea mountains off Canada’s west coast are home to a rich diversity of life.

“When we reached a seamount (undersea mountain), it was often like we were entering a forest, only of red tree corals and vase-shaped glass sponges,” said Robert Rangeley, Science Director, Oceana Canada. “These areas were filled with a diversity of other animals including anemones, feather stars, octopuses, lobsters and rockfishes,” said Rangely who led the expedition in July.

Oceana, a marine conservation organisation, along with the Haida Nation, an indigenous people, the Federal government department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Ocean Networks Canada were partners in the first in-depth investigation of the recently designated Offshore Pacific Area of Interest. This is a 140,000 square kilometre region 100 to 200 kilometres west of Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia…

Read Full Article; IPS News (12-05-2018)

Managing wastewater to support coral reef health, resilience

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


Coral reefs provide food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people around the world, support more than a quarter of all marine life, and protect communities and coastlines from natural disasters—and if urgent action is not taken, we risk losing them forever.

The spectacular marine diversity that corals offer has attracted snorkelers, divers and film-makers for decades, but these awe-inspiring ecosystems are now in serious trouble.

The alarming state of coral reefs around the world has been well-documented in the past few years. Climate change, ocean acidification and pollution are the main causes of coral bleaching, degradation and die-offs.

However, awareness and data on how wastewater pollution impacts coral reefs remain limited in most reef regions.

“For years, oceans have been used as dumping grounds for many types of waste, including sewage, industrial waste, chemicals and litter,” says head of UN Environment’s coral reef unit Jerker Tamelander. “More than 80 per cent of marine pollution originates from land, including wastewater, sediment and nutrients delivered via waterways.”

A 2017 brief Wastewater Pollution on Coral Reefs compiled by UN Environment through the Global Coral Reef Partnership and the Global Wastewater Initiative and in collaboration with Coasts Climate Oceans, says coral exposed to excess nutrients, turbidity, sedimentation, pathogens or chemical pollutants is more susceptible to thermal stress and less able to survive a coral bleaching event…

Read Full Article; UNEP (11-27-2018)

Study tracks severe bleaching events on a Pacific coral reef over past century

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


As climate change causes ocean temperatures to rise, coral reefs worldwide are experiencing mass bleaching events and die-offs. For many, this is their first encounter with extreme heat. However for some reefs in the central Pacific, heatwaves caused by El Nino are a way of life.

Exactly how these reefs deal with repeated episodes of extreme heat has been unclear. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has uncovered the history of bleaching on a reef in the epicenter of El Nino, revealing how some corals have been able to return after facing extreme conditions.

The study was published Nov. 8, 2018, in the journal Communications Biology

Read Full Article; WHOI (11-08-2018)

Florida’s coral reefs provide window into the past; USGS (10-23-2018)

Video Captures the Violent Act of Coral Bleaching, LiveScience (08-17-2016)

Global warming is transforming the Great Barrier Reef; Science Daily (04-18-2018)
A new study shows that corals on the northern Great Barrier Reef experienced a catastrophic die-off following the extended marine heatwave of 2016…