Why are coral reefs important?
Name: Wynne A Wells
Can you tell me the importance of coral reefs?
Coral reefs are important for many different reasons:
*the coral reef is "biologically diverse" that means there
are many different kinds of animals and plants that live theree
This is important, because just like the tropical rainforests,
Coral reefs may be the source of medicines, chemicals or other
resources that haven't even been discovered yet, and unless we
save these environments, we'll never get the chance to discover
these resources that we need;
*Coral reefs are "biologically productive" , which means there are
lots of each thing that grows here. Many of the creatures that l
live here, like lobsters and fish, we depend on for food, even
here in the Midwest , and all around the world!
*Coral reefs are beautiful places, and provide income from
tourists to many otherwise poor countries around the world.
*Reefs are very stable, and provide a protective barrier around
many islands and coasts. Without the reefs these islands and
coasts will erode away into the ocean.
*It is important to protect the reefs we have today, because they
can't be replaced. Reefs are formed very slowly by tiny animals
called "coral". Each animal is tinier than your pinky nail, and
grows very slowly, only about 1 centimeter a year. The reefs we have
today were formed over 100s of thousands of years, and
it would take just as long to grow back, if they grow back at all
Oil drilling and erosion from developing coasts near reefs are big problems.
Tom F Ihde
Click here to return to the Biology Archives
Update: June 2012