What Are Coral Reefs And What's Their Purpose?

Coral reefs in the Caribbean are slowly dying! What is the purpose of these reefs and can this damage be stopped?

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What species live in and around coral reefs?
"Hidden beneath the ocean waters, coral reefs teem with life. Fish, corals, lobsters, clams, seahorses, sponges, and sea turtles are only a few of the thousands of creatures that rely on reefs for their survival."

How do coral reefs protect lives and property?
"The coral reef structure buffers shorelines against waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion."

Importance of Coral Reefs
"Coral reefs are important for many reasons. Most importantly, they provide protection and shelter for many different species of fish."

From despair to repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean coral can be reversed
"With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)."

What are Coral Reefs
"Appearing as solitary forms in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, corals are extremely ancient animals that evolved into modern reef-building forms over the last 25 million years."

Coral Reef Protection: What Are Coral Reefs?
"The mention of coral reefs generally brings to mind warm climates, colorful fishes and clear waters."

Caribbean coral reefs 'will be lost within 20 years' without protection
"Major report warns that loss of grazing fish due to pollution and overfishing is a key driver of region's coral decline."

To Save Coral Reefs, Start With Parrotfish
"Coral reefs are very complex ecosystems, but luckily managing them sustainably is not."

Coral Reef Destruction and Conservation
"Ten percent of the world's reefs have been completely destroyed. In the Philippines, where coral reef destruction is the worst, over 70% have been destroyed and only 5% can be said to be in good condition."

Coral Bleaching: What You Need to Know
"If coral bleaching isn't on your radar yet, it will be soon."

Coral reef
"Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals."