Coral Reef Background:
Coral Reefs are one of the most important ecosystems we have. There is an abundance of bio diversity. Coral reefs only cover about 0.1% of the ocean but is home to 1/4 of all marine species. These species depend heavily on coral reefs for protection and food. Corals are also great filters for the ocean and clean up the quality of the water . Coral reefs can rack up upward to $1.25 million per hectare from tourism, coastal protection, and medical use.
Coal Reef Threats:
Coral reefs are rapidly declining. In the past 30 years we have lost over a 1/4 of all the live coral in the world. The Decline of coral reefs are due to several stressors. There are Anthropogenic pressures and Environmental pressures. Some of the anthropogenic pressures include coastal development, over fishing/fishing practices, and management activities. Another thing that stresses the coral reefs are the environmental pressures. More specifically climate change. Climate change is warming the waters and changing the oceans acidification. Warming waters cause coral bleaching which is when the coral release the zooxanthellae turning the corals completely white.
Healthy reefs can self repair to a certain degree but is not enough. Nursing coral reefs back to life takes a long time. One thing that can help is Artificial reefs. Artificial reefs are man made coral structures placed in cinder blocks or often times ship wrecks. Artificial reefs are a good mediator but should not be a permanent solution.