Coral reefs are vital ecosystems and they represent a rich contribution to the planet’s biodiversity 


Corals are amazing!  They are beautiful.  They make homes for a wide range of species.  Of all the species in the ocean, about one out of four spends at least part of its life on a coral reef.  Individual coral polyps are very small, but together they grow the largest biological structures on Earth.  When they are healthy, they can re-grow after being damaged by a big storm or tidal wave.  Reefs also absorb wave energy, preventing damage and erosion of the shoreline.  That protection makes it possible for many species, including people, to use land closer to the ocean.


Coral reefs and their inhabitants are inventors.  They have developed chemistry to grow hard structures - like concrete.  Species that live on reefs make a wide array of proteins that scientists are investigating with hopes of finding new treatments for cancer or other diseases, painkillers, or other uses.  There is much more to learn about reefs and from reefs.  Joining and supporting groups working protect them is good for the ocean, and it is good for people.



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