Coral reefs are warm, clear, shallow ocean habitats that are rich in life. A reef isn’t a “thing,” it’s actually a community of life that congregates and thrives in one location. Reefs are where many fish and sea creatures choose to live and spawn; there are numerous types of seaweed, plankton and algae that flourish in the protected environment providing food for an amazing amount of fish. Scientists have even discovered many compounds that can be harvested to make medications to treat cancers and other illnesses. Despite the importance of coral reefs, these wildlife habitats are imperiled throughout the world. A recent report estimated that 75 percent of remaining coral reefs are currently threatened, and many have already been lost.
The list of problems that threaten coral reefs can seem endless – pollution, over fishing, fishing using cyanide and dynamite, industrial waste, oil spills, massive outbreaks of predatory species through global warming, and sedimentation from poor land use practices.
The coral reef isn’t just something pretty to look it; it plays an crucial role in the survival of our planet – and must be protected in order to survive.