Reefs at Risk, Revisited by WRI.
“As anyone who has spent time around the ocean knows—whether diving, conducting research, or fishing—coral reefs are among the world’s greatest sources of beauty and wonder. Home to over 4,000 species of fish and 800 types of coral, reefs offer an amazing panorama of underwater life. Coral reefs supply a wide range of important benefits to communities around the world. From the fisherman in Indonesia or Tanzania who relies on local fish to feed his family, to the scientist in Panama who investigates the medicinal potential of reefrelated compounds, reefs provide jobs, livelihoods, food, shelter, and protection for coastal communities and the shorelines along which they live. Unfortunately, reefs today are facing multiple threats from many directions. 2010 was one of the warmest years on record, causing widespread damage to coral reefs. Warmer oceans lead to coral bleaching, which is becoming increasingly frequent around the globe—leaving reefs, fish, and the communities who depend on these resources at great risk. No one yet knows what the long-term impacts of this bleaching will be. But, if the ocean’s waters keep warming, the outlook is grim.”