Death of Coral Reefs

By: Keagan Terry

Region of Coral Reefs

Places with major coral reefs; Florida, the Bahamas, Red Sea etc.; are most affected by the death of coral reefs. These locations are most effected because they're closer to reefs than any other locations.

League City is not effected by coral reef deaths. League City isn't affected because it's not on the water so there's no way for coral reefs to effect us.

How People are Affected

We are affected both economically and physically. We are affected economically because many countries are famous for their coral reefs. They get lots of money from tourists visiting to see the reefs. If the reefs die completely then those countries wont get as much tourism causing them to lose money.

We are affected physically because coral reefs can stop/ slow down storms. The coral reefs can slow down storms because they're closer to the surface than the sea floor. Because of the sometimes sudden incline, the storms can be slowed down and in some cases stopped. If the reefs died there wouldn't be anything to slow the storms down, so we would have less time to prepare for the oncoming storm.

How wildlife is affected

The wildlife that is most affected is the many species of fish that call the reefs home. These species include starfish, puffer fish, clown fish, seahorses, lobsters, and sea turtles. Other species, like sharks, depend on the fish that live in the reefs. When the fish don't have a place to live they start to die off.

If coral reefs die off many species will be homeless, so they die off. When they die off the predators die off due to lack of food supply. The algae brings to grow at a tremendous rate due to the lack of predators. The algae won't have enough carbon dioxide to survive so they start to die too. When the algae dies, one of the worlds biggest oxygen providers goes with it. The majority of all wildlife is affected by coral reef deaths.

causes

There are many causes of coral reef death. Most of them are caused by humans, few are natural. Here's a list of a few causes:

Deforestation: When the trees are cut down, the topsoil becomes loose. The topsoil can fall into rivers and streams, which eventually flow out to the ocean. The soil can then smother the reefs and block out the sunlight that the coral needs to survive.

Oil Spills, Fertilizers, and Pesticides: These and many other chemicals are very poisonous to the coral living on the reefs. These chemicals get onto the ocean by contaminating runoff water after it rains.

Dredging and Careless Handling of Nets: The nets can get caught on the coral and can badly damage it. Dredging can destroy small parts of or in some cases most of a reef.

solutions

Here are a few easy ways to help prevent the death of coral reefs:

  • Reduce pollution; Use cars less, ride a bike, walk or ride the bus.
  • Use organic fertilizer; Organic fertilizers doesn't have chemicals that can harm the reefs.
  • Plant a tree; Trees reduce the chance of topsoil washing into the water, they reduce runoff.
  • Conserve water; The less water we use, the less contaminated water will end up in oceans.

My solution:

My idea is actually really simple. We need to stop dredging and limit the amount of coastal development. We don't benefit from dredging and we don't need anything on the coast anyway. The piers and stores we build will eventually be shut down or go out of business anyway, so whats the point? The only thing we accomplish from building on the coast is killing and injuring innocent organisms. We need to stop building and dredging on the coasts, it might not save the reefs completely but it will at least give them a bigger chance of surviving. My plan could be put into action now, if we tried hard enough.