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Coral Reefs Are in Danger- Save Them!

Julia Eilert, Writer

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   Coral reefs are dying, and we are only sending them to their graves earlier than what’s natural. We are killing the habitat of our exotic marine animals, and if we don’t reverse this we may lose an entire biome.

   Reefs can take years to build up, since they form in similar ways to sedimentary rocks. Each layer is added on separately before the “ground” is suitable for coral growth.

   Not only is it a lengthy process to make a coral reef, it’s easy to wipe out entire reefs with small changes. The gentlest change in PH, the slightest pollution, or even an alteration of temperature can give stress coral. When coral gets stressed, it dies. Coral reefs are approaching extinction, and their spread is patchy to say it nicely.

   When coral dies, surrounding fish and invertebrates are forced to find another home, or they are left exposed to predators. Tropical Rain Forests are facing the same problems, and there is no one to blame but ourselves.

   Multiple programs have sprung up in this dire time, but they can’t do it alone. This decline in reefs was noticed in the 1970’s, yet it is still an issue that’s only gotten worse.

   The Coral Reef Restoration Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and restoration program that does what it can to inform the public and rebuild coral species that are critically endangered. It cultures nurseries of coral, and reintroduces the plants along the coasts of Florida where they’ve disappeared.

   It’s time that we start making amends for this problem that we have directly caused. We need to stay informed, and we need to make better choices regarding our treatment of our world. Donating to the cause is a great way to contribute, but that’s not always an option. We should start with our personal habits and work outward.

 

Source:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Coral/

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The student news site of McPherson High School
Coral Reefs Are in Danger- Save Them!