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Barrier reefs, such as Floridas, were named for the way they reduce waves and buffer the shores. Coral reefs face problems from both man and nature. The beauty of the coral reefs attracts tourists in great numbers. But scientists are answering that call to action... in three surprisingly creative and innovative ways. In scientific classification, corals fall under the phylum Cnidaria and the class Anthozoa. Learn how your comment data is processed. a. Carnivores b. Omnivores c. Herbivores d. Decomposers 4. Oil spills and pollutants can threaten entire reefs. Corals are animals, even though they may exhibit some of the characteristics of plants and are often mistaken for rocks. Artificial reefs created from sunken ships and other manmade objects have shown some short-term promise, but man’s impact on the environment continues to make the future of coral reefs uncertain." Reefs generate billions of dollars in tourism, as well as food for people in 100 countries. This doesn’t include the millions of undiscovered species that take shelter along coral reefs. Divers inject the central disk near an arm of each starfish with ox bile, a natural substance that kills the creature, but does no harm to the reef. (NOAA), Coral reefs, like this one in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, support an impressive array of marine life. Coral reefs are highly beneficial to humans in many ways. Even something as small as practicing proper waste disposal and educating ourselves about the. In a similar vein, one of the earliest modern medicines obtained from corals contributed to the development of the antiviral drugs Ara-A and AZT, as well as the anticancer agent Ara-C. 2. (Courtney Couch/NOAA), NOAA diver Kelly Gleason injects a crown-of-thorns starfish, a species known to threaten coral. In what ways are coral reefs essential for humans? Some commercial fishing enterprises also depend on coral reefs and the fish they produce. They are an integral part of many cultures and our natural heritage. They are important for subsistence, fisheries, tourism, shoreline protection, and yield compounds that are important in the development … Coral reefs are dying off at record rates, thanks to pollution, disease and global warming. Barrier reefs help stabilize mangroves and seagrass beds, which can easily be uprooted by large waves and h6 currents. They provide:? Here are the five crucial roles played by coral reefs: Coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea. Coral reefs are bustling underwater cities that lie beneath tropical, sunlit waves. Corals reefs are so alluring, in fact, that a study published in the Journal of Marine Policy reveals that they support 70 million trips every year, making them a powerful engine for tourism. They need clean water to survive and grow. Data shows that more 275 million people live within 10 kilometers of coastline and 30 kilometers of coral reefs. From coral mapping, monitoring and modeling to on-the-ground and in-water restoration activities, NOAA is leading ridge-to-reef efforts to support the management and conservation of these valuable ecosystems. These reefs also protect the coasts against flooding. Let’s take a closer look at the role coral reefs play in the global ecosystem. Food. People depend on the marine creatures that inhabit coral reefs more than they realize. Unsustainable fishing practices in coral reef areas can lead to the loss of ecologically and economically important fish species. Coral polyps, the animals primarily responsible for building reefs, can take many forms: large reef building colonies, graceful flowing fans, and even small, solitary organisms.Thousands of species of corals have been discovered; some live in warm, shallow, tropical seas and others in the cold, dark depths of the ocean. 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