Coral reefs are filled with life and a vibrancy of colors. They provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms. They also protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms. Unfortunately, they are being damaged as a result of climate change.
The rise in surface temperature has led to the warming of oceans, causing coral bleaching. The rising sea levels have smothered coral reefs. Stronger storms have destroyed their structure, increase in precipitation has created algal blooms and murky water that reduces light.
The altering ocean currents have created a lack of food and disposal of larvae. Ocean acidification, the increase of carbon dioxide and reduction of phosphate in the sea, has decreased growth rates and the structural integrity of coral reefs.
About 50% of coral reefs have been destroyed in the last decade and if we do not act, their extinction will become inevitable.
To help improve overall coral reef conditions, you can reduce the use of lawn and garden chemicals, not dump household chemicals in storm drains, choose sustainable seafood, volunteer for beach and waterway cleanups, and learn about good reef etiquette and practice it when in the water.
Let us protect our environment, as we are the ones that can control what happens to it. Let us keep its wonders alive and present for generations to come.