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October 2011 Blog Posts (10)

Eyes of the Reef Live Coral Cover & Coral Types Survey Activity Guide

Welcome citizen scientists!

Under pressure by coastal development, land-based pollution and global climate change, Hawaii's fragile reef ecosystems are threatened with rising levels of coral bleaching and disease, crown of thorn seas start outbreaks (COTS) and marine invasive species. Are you ready to use the virtual reef to start collecting data?  Your work is important as the is an large numbers of…


Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 21, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Coral Reef Overview

What is a coral reef?

Coral reefs are massive structures made of limestone deposited by living things. Although thousands of species inhabit coral reefs, only a fraction produce the limestone that builds the reef. The most important reef-building organisms are the corals.

Coral reefs support approximately 25 percent of all known marine species. As one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet, coral reefs are home to more than 4,000 species of fish,…


Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 7:41pm — No Comments

Effective MPAs

A solution for survival

Coral reefs are one of the most productive, yet most threatened, ecosystems on the planet. A wide variety of activities ranging from coastal development to global warming to overfishing have endangered coral reef health. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provide a comprehensive approach to addressing these threats and are one of the most promising solutions for the survival of coral reefs and the many benefits they provide to… Continue

Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 7:33pm — No Comments

Coastal Development

Planning for a sustainable reef

Almost half a billion people live within 100 km (60 miles) of coral reefs where they benefit from fisheries, wave and storm surge protection, and tourist income. With the worldwide coastal population expected to double by 2050, coral reefs will be facing increased pressure from unmanaged development along coasts. Unplanned coastal developed is not only a serious threat to coral reefs, it also leads to long-term socioeconomic loss. By…


Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 7:06pm — No Comments


Making the connection

Coral reefs are one of the world’s most productive ecosystems, providing valuable resources including fisheries, coastal protection and tourism income. In order to survive, coral reefs need specific environmental conditions, such as low nutrient and sediment levels. These conditions can easily be altered by the content and quantity of water that flows through watersheds and into coral reef waters. Human activities, including deforestation,… Continue

Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Explotive Fishing

Short-term gain, long-term loss

Coral reef fisheries are a vital source of protein for coastal communities throughout the tropics. Coral reefs contain over 4,000 species of fish as well as other edible invertebrates and contribute about one-quarter of the total marine catch in developing countries. Exploitive fishing, which includes overfishing and destructive fishing, occurs on most of the world’s reefs. It yields short-term economic benefits for fishers, but… Continue

Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Mining and Harvesting of Coral


Coral reefs are invaluable resources to local communities around the world, serving as sources of food, jobs and livelihoods, and as coastal protection. Without effective management and enforcement, the trade of coral reef species and products jeopardizes the potential of coral reefs to sustain local communities and future generations. Coral reef species are removed from the reef and traded in numerous domestic and… Continue

Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 6:48pm — No Comments

Climate Change and Coral Reefs

Rising tides, temperatures and costs to reef communities

Over the last twenty years, human-induced climate change and global warming have become areas of growing concern for scientists, environmentalists, and public policy makers. While research into the causes and impact of climate change continues, it is becoming increasingly clear that coral reefs are among those environments most threatened by this phenomenon. An increase in sea surface temperatures, rising…


Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 6:34pm — No Comments

Why Care about Coral Reefs?

Why Care about Coral Reefs?


Healthy Coral Reefs = A Healthy World

Coral reefs are one of the most spectacular and fragile of underwater environments, covering less than one percent of the ocean floor but supporting an estimated 25 percent of all marine life. Even though they are located in the tropics, coral reefs benefit people and the natural world far beyond their boundaries. Coral reefs are in trouble around the globe: 11 percent of the world’s…


Added by Dylan Vecchione on October 19, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

How to use the ReefQuest Virtual Reef Activity Guide

Are you ready to take a virtual dive on the Virtual Reef?  The Virtual Reef is an innovative online tool that, for the first time ever, has imaged in high fidelity and in panoramic 3D, underwater sections of coral reefs around the world. Learn more about the Virtual Reef and how we came to build it. This Activity Guide will teach how to use and…


Added by Maurizio Vecchione on October 1, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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