Coral reefs refer to a group of organisms that live in water that are attached by a calcium carbonate. They are sponges, crabs, starfish, jellyfish, and other creatures. Coral reefs are composed of tiny animals that stay stagnant at one place. In addition, they are a source of tourism and fisheries. Coral reefs offer many benefits to human beings, as we shall see below. Coral reefs sometimes enlarge until they appear above the water forming a coral island where human beings live. This occurs because coral reefs are mostly found in the shallow water levels. Moreover, they are known to be the most productive water system because they contain nutrients that are stored in the solid matter. Coral reefs provide food for both animals and plants hence they are able to recycle nutrients. The plants get sunlight that is then converted to energy through photosynthesis; they pass this energy to the animals that in turn give them fertilizer in the form of waste (Conservation International 8). Man then consumes these water organisms. Another important benefit of coral reefs is that they offer provisioning goods that include food, water, and forage. Fish that is food for human beings feed on the reefs that are located at the bottom of the water. They absorb carbon dioxide from the water making it clean and safe for the aquatic animals. Additionally, coral reefs help the fish to travel a long distance to search for food because they are hence escaping its prey and they serve as forage for the fish. Coral reefs are likewise known for regulating services like water quality, flood regulation, and disease control. There are a number of medicines being manufactured using coral reefs, which treat cancer, bacteria, and viruses. Further, coral reefs prevent soil erosion by regulating the waves that may result in floods. Other benefits of coral reefs include cultural advantages like recreational, educational, and esthetic benefits. Moreover, coral reefs are a source of tourism where the tourist dive into the water or do fishing trips (Conservation International 23). It also contributes to the construction of hotels at the cost. Colleges and universities visit the coastal areas to learn about the coral reefs. Strong waves from hurricanes can destroy and break the coral reefs structures scattering them all over. Additionally, when they are destroyed, they take the time to grow, making algae to overgrow those (Frieler et al. 166). Water tides that occur for an extended period destroy the coral reefs by exposing their heads. This is made worse if they are exposed during the day because of the intense sunlight that dries them up. High water temperatures and the decreasing sea levels also threaten them (Crabbe 312). Artificial land pollution changes the landscape affecting the health of the corals because they carry away nutrients and sediments. Small quantities of nutrients left results to low quality of water and low levels of oxygen that destroys the coral reefs. There are various ways that coral reefs can be conserved. One way would be to encourage the neighboring people to live in harmony with the ecosystem (Hughes, Bellwood, and Connolly 776). There should be a well-planned management plan that would be used to conserve the coral reefs. The people living near the coral reefs should be taught the benefits of coral reefs and shown how to conserve the coral reefs. Organizations should carry out coral conservation projects that must include the local communities, tourist, the government, and farmers in the area. Additionally, the local government can collaborate with the international companies or governments to work together in the conservation of coral reef (Hughes et al. 779).
The advantages of using organizations for coral reefs conservation is that it helps to pool resources together hence it reduces the cost of the process. These organizations likewise have specialized employees who are knowledgeable in physical or social sciences (Hughes et al. 780). This helps the process to be done efficiently and successfully. On the other hand, these organizations may take advantage of this opportunity and may benefit themselves instead of the community.
Conservation International. 2008. Economic Values of Coral Reefs, Mangroves, and Sea grasses: A Global Compilation. Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA. 2008. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Crabbe, M. James C. “Climate Change, Global Warming and Coral Reefs: Modeling the Effects of Temperature”. Computational Biology and Chemistry 32.5 (2008): 311-314. Print
Frieler, K. et al. “Limiting Global Warming To 2 °C Is Unlikely To Save Most Coral Reefs”. Nature Climate change 3.2 (2012): 165-170. Print
Hughes, Terry P., David R. Bellwood, and Sean R. Connolly. “Biodiversity Hotspots, Centers of Endemicity, and the Conservation of Coral Reefs”. Ecology Letters 5.6 (2002): 775-784. Print.