Coral Reef NOAA
May 24, 2016  



Coral reef ecosystems are some of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. They provide billions of dollars in economic and environmental services—food, protection for coasts, and tourism. As home to the richest marine biodiversity, coral reef ecosystems are beautiful and awe-inspiring. Coral reefs face serious threats, especially from the impacts of climate change (including ocean acidification), fishing, and land-based pollution. A 2008 Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network report says "The world has effectively lost 19 percent of the original area of coral reefs." Disappearing coral reefs means loss of underwater buffers that reduce wave strength during storms, loss of nature's nurseries for fish species that generate 200 million jobs and food for a billion people, and loss of the home for plants and animals used to treat cancer and HIV and other viruses.

Surf this section of our site to learn more about some of the key efforts being undertaken to save and sustain coral reefs in the US and around the world.