2Information Coral Reefs house over 75% of ocean life The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef. It is on the entire western coast of AustraliaCoral Reefs can be found in tropical waters and in deep water were there are enough nutrientsThere are three types of reefs, atolls, fringing, and Barrier.
3InformationCoral reefs hold numerous animals including whales, turtles, and fish
5Coral Reef Bleaching But. . . Bleaching happens when weather change causes coral to lose it’s pigmentation.Other reasons they bleach is because of wind, low tide air exposure, or starvationBut. . .
6We cause BleachingWhen we fish for food underwater, we use poisoning methods to stun the fish. It kills the coral because the poison contains bleach.Healthy CoralBleached Coral
7The effects of Acidic Waters: When carbon dioxide wastes are dumped into the ocean, they can dissolve and become carbon acidAcidic waters break down on the limestone structures of coralAcidic waters take a long time to disintegrate and can cause enormous damage to the reefs
8Over Fishing and Coral Mining We over fish for food and trade. This damages animals population numbers and other animals die needlessly because they could get caught in nets.Coral MiningCoral mining is when we mine for the limestone structures of the coral, jewelry, souvenirs, and medicine. This closes coastal towns, hotels, and beaches.
9Some People Think That It’s Okay! Some people may say that we have to use bleach to catch fish.But, we could use less destructive methods, or go old fashion with nets, not disturbing the coral.We may need to mine for limestone for construction uses.But, we could use different deposits of lime stone because 1/3 of the earth’s surface is limestone, or use cement or wood.But, what if we need to fish for food?We can still eat seafood, but we have to monitor each catch and use less destructive methods because many animals die needlessly in nets.
10Even though the reefs are being destroyed… You can still help!
11How you can help:Conserve water: The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our oceans.Help reduce pollution: Walk, bike or ride the bus. Fossil fuel emissions from cars and industry raise lead to ocean warming which causes mass-bleaching of corals and can lead to widespread destruction of reefs.Use only ecological or organic fertilizers: Although you may live thousands of miles from a coral reef ecosystem, these products flow into the water system, pollute the ocean, and can harm coral reefs and marine life.Dispose of your trash properly: Don't leave unwanted fishing lines or nets in the water or on the beach. Any kind of litter pollutes the water and can harm the reef and the fish.Support reef-friendly businesses: Ask the fishing, boating, hotel, aquarium, dive or snorkeling operators how they protect the reef. Be sure they care for the living reef ecosystem and ask if the organization responsible is part of a coral reef ecosystem management effort.Plant a tree: Trees reduce runoff into the oceans. You will also contribute to reversing the warming of our planet and the rising temperatures of our oceans. Help us Plant a Billion.Practice safe and responsible diving and snorkeling: Do not touch the reef or anchor your boat on the reef. Contact with the coral will damage the delicate coral animals, and anchoring on the reef can kill it, so look for sandy bottom or use moorings if available.Volunteer for a coral reef cleanup: You don't live near a coral reef? Then do what many people do with their vacation: visit a coral reef. Spend an afternoon enjoying the beauty of one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Earth.Contact your government representatives: Demand they take action to protect coral reefs, stop sewage pollution of our oceans, expand marine protected areas and take steps to reverse global warming.Spread the word: Remember your own excitement at learning how important the planet's coral reefs are to us and the intricate global ecosystem. Share this excitement and encourage others to get involved.