Death of Coral Reefs

Zoe Smith 3rd period

Main Issues

One main issue of loosing our coral reefs is that we depend on them! Coral reefs provide us with food, construction materials, and even cancer medicines. But not only does loosing coral reefs effect us, the death of the reefs effect all the marine life depending and living off of them. Death of our coral reefs even has negative effects on our environment. Having no coral reefs can make a drastic change to our environment just because of how many organisms depend on them.

Where is it common near North America?

Florida is one of the most endangered area for coral reefs around the keys. Many of our worlds effected reefs are found in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Also 60% of the worlds coral reefs are found in the extended Hawaiian Island chain.

What is effected?

There is many different types of wildlife effected like; Butterfly fish which rely on coral reefs as a food source, Whale sharks that eat fish that rely on coral reefs as a food source, Spiny Lobster which rely on coral reefs, just imagine what would happen if we lost all our coral reefs, think of all the marine life we would loose which could lead to an unbalanced food chain. Not only are they effected, we effect ourselves here in League city by damaging and killing our coral reefs. We pollute our ocean which can lead to economic issues with our huge population! People everywhere are effected by death of coral reefs because we all rely on them so much.
Big image
Big image

Great Barrier Reef above.


This issue is caused by people doing many things like ocean acidification, pollution, run-off, high UV radiation levels, exposure to extremely low tides, and cooling or warming of the waters in which the coral reside.

Quotes... Articles

"Ecologically speaking the value of coral reefs is even greater [than these estimates] because they are integral to the well being of the oceans as we know them. … picture [reefs] as the undersea equivalent of rainforest trees. Tropical waters are naturally low in nutrients because the warm water limits nutrients essential for life from welling up from the deep, which is why they are sometimes called a “marine desert”. Through the photosynthesis carried out by their algae, coral serve as a vital input of food into the tropical/sub-tropical marine food-chain, and assist in recycling the nutrients too. The reefs provide home and shelter to over 25% of fish in the ocean and up to two million marine species. They are also a nursery for the juvenile forms of many marine creatures.

I could go on, but the similarity with the rainforest should now be clear. Eliminate the undersea “trees”, which mass coral bleaching is in the process of doing, and you’ll eliminate everything that depends on it for survival."

Rob Painting, Coral: life’s a bleach… and then you die, Skeptical Science, January 13, 2011




  • "20% of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery;
  • Approximately 40% of the 16% of the world’s reefs that were seriously damaged in 1998 are either recovering well or have recovered;
  • The report predicts that 24% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures; and a further 26% are under a longer term threat of collapse;"

Clive Wilkinson, Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004 [PDF format], World Wildlife Fund, p.7


Some of the solutions we have are reservations that protect coral reefs from people damaging or killing them! My solution to try to limit the death of coral reefs is for all the water coming from drains to be checked for dangerous things that kill our coral reefs. I feel that we can make this possible with the technology that we have because coral reefs are very important and we all need to work together to help preserve these wonderful marine organisms!