Reef Conservation

Coral reef conservation is very important as reef habitats are declining worldwide. This is cause for alarm because coral reef ecosystems provide for an incredible amount of biodiversity. A coral reef is composed of thin plates or layers of calcium carbonate, which is secreted over thousands of years by billions of tiny soft-bodied animals, known as polyps. They are home to sponges, anemones, snails, sea rays, crabs, lobsters, turtles, dolphins and so much other sea life.

Reef conservation is necessary in order to deter the impending threats that face these ecosystems. Some of the threats include pollution from overdevelopment and lack of sewage planning, physical impact, such as propeller contact or grounded vessels and human impact caused by scuba divers and snorkelers.

The reefs are important not only to sea life that exists in and around them, but barrier coral reefs protect shorelines from erosion and storm damage. Coral reefs also generate a great deal of revenue for coastal economies. They are vital for eco-tourism, fishing and recreational resources. Without efforts in reef conservation, the habitats that so many sea creatures and humans depend on will be destroyed and cause a greater problem than the short-term goals of development and unwise use of the natural resources.