Climate change and ocean acidification--which can result in coral bleaching events, slower growth and reproduction rates, and degraded reef structure--are the most pressing global threats to coral reefs.
When you've got a bacterial infection like pink eye or strep throat, your doctor will usually write a prescription for antibiotics to make you feel better. But have you ever wondered where these medicines come from?
Most corals were once thought to live in tropical water, close enough to the surface to receive sunlight. But with the help of submersibles and remotely operated vehicles, scientists have discovered vast forests of corals living 200 to 10,000 feet deep in dark, cold waters.
These beautiful coral reefs are in serious trouble. They are being damaged or destroyed by pollution, disease, climate change, and a large number of ship groundings.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.