Coral reefs (CRs) form an important element of the world’s economy as well as present a habitat for almost one-fourth of marine species (Coral reefs system, n. d.). Destruction of CRs damages people’s income in the countries where CR tourism is popular. Also, it decreases the amount of food because the fish lose their habitat (Coral reefs system, n. d.). Investigation of the causes and effects of the destruction of CRs is a significant and interesting topic. It is important to identify the reasons and outcomes of CRs’ dying and find solutions to these effects. The essay will discuss CRs and focus on two main causes of CR destruction (climate and pollution) and two basic effects (on humans and the environment).
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One of the major causes of CR destruction is presented by climate change. In general, nearly one-third of the entire coral destruction is caused by storms and other natural disasters. For example, in 2011, Cyclone Yasi hit the Great Barrier Reef (Cyclone Yasi, n. d.). Because of it, a great amount of the reef was destroyed. Another climate problem adding to reef damage is global warming (Shah, 2013). Because of it, a lot of reefs are influenced by underwater heat. Warming leads to corals’ bleaching and dying. Even a seemingly unimportant rise in temperature is very harmful to CRs.
Another serious cause of damaging CRs is pollution. Plastic, which is thrown into the oceans by the people, not only kills small fish and turtles but also can ruin the CRs (Hall, 2015). Corals eat very small pieces of plastic, which leads to their death. There are two kinds of pollution that greatly damage the reefs: land-based runoff and marine debris. Runoff pollution occurs due to people’s activity near the coasts (Howard, 2014). The pesticides used in farming ruin the ocean water. Additionally, there are great amounts of sewage which also destroy the oceans. Marine debris means any litter created by humans and thrown into the oceans or coastal areas (Howard, 2014).
The effects of CR destruction are connected with the people and the environment. There are two industries greatly depending on CRs: tourism and fishing (Cyclone Yasi, n. d.). If the reefs are damaged or ruined, people working in these industries will lose their jobs and profit. For example, nearly two million tourists come to see the Great Barrier Reef annually (Hall, 2015). If the reefs keep being damaged, the visitors will stop arriving, and the Australian economy will suffer. The effect on the environment is connected with dying of fish species. The fish and other marine species whose habitat is CR will disappear if the reefs die.
The essay has discussed the main causes (pollution and climate change) and effects (environmental and human) of CR destruction. I think that we should take care of CRs and find solutions to reduce the damage. A good way of solving the problem is by raising people’s awareness about it. Further, a discussion of the issue on TV would be a good idea. Additionally, future solutions for the problem are educating people about the significance of CRs and creating regulations to reduce the damage caused to CRs. If we raise people’s awareness and responsibility, they will pay more attention to the problem of coral reefs. Together, we will save this important element of nature for present and future generations.
- Coral reefs system. (n. d.).
- Cyclone Yasi. (n. d.).
- Hall. (2015).
- Howard. (2014).
- Shah. (2013).