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The Restoration Of Coral Reefs. Brett Crawford. What are Coral Reefs?. Represent one of the most diverse ecosystems on planet; “Rainforest of the ocean”. Tropical and Semi-tropical waters. Temps range from 61-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Three types of Coral Reefs. . What are Coral Reefs?.

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What are coral reefs
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Represent one of the most diverse ecosystems on planet; “Rainforest of the ocean”.

  • Tropical and Semi-tropical waters. Temps range from 61-86 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Three types of Coral Reefs.

What are coral reefs1
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Barrier Reef

  • Occur offshore, separated from mainland by water.

  • Great Barrier Reef

  • Largest reef system, 2,900 individual reefs, 900 islands, stretches 1,600 miles.

  • Can be seen from space.

What are coral reefs2
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Fringing Reef

  • Has shallow back reef zone, reef grows directly from shoreline.

  • Most common reef type in Caribbean and Red Sea.

What are coral reefs3
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Atolls

  • An island of coral that encircles a lagoon partially or entirely.

  • Most are in Pacific Ocean.

What are coral reefs4
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Corals are very small animals.

  • Sessile

  • Eat small fish and plank-tonic animals using tentacles.

  • Corals grouped into colonies, individual parts are “Polyps”.

  • Polyps secrete Calcium Carbonate skeleton from base.

  • Substrate for Corals.

  • Coral grows as more Calcium Carbonate skeleton deposited.

  • Living Coral on surface.

  • Average growth 0.3-10 cm/per year.

What are coral reefs6
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Zooxanthellae Algae

  • Live in Polyps.

  • Symbiotic

  • Algae-photosynthesizes and creates food for coral.

  • Coral-provides protection and gives access to light.

What are coral reefs7
What are Coral Reefs?

  • Provide food and habitat for Sponges, Crabs, Shrimp, Sea Slugs, Sea Stars, Oysters, Sea Turtles and Fish.

  • Good indicators for water quality in ocean.

  • Protect coastlines from erosion.

Coral reef values
Coral Reef Values

  • Natural goods for fisheries industry.

  • High value as fish sanctuary and nurseries.

  • Tourism

  • $483 million in annual net benefits to U.S. economy from tourism and recreational activities related to U.S. coral reefs.

  • $1.1 billion in annual net benefits to U.S. economy from overall goods and services related to U.S. coral reefs.

Threats to coral reefs
Threats to Coral Reefs

  • Pollution

  • Agricultural and Industrial runoff.

  • Sewage and toxic waste discharge.

  • Erosion and sedimentation.

Threats to coral reefs1
Threats to Coral Reefs

  • Fishing

  • Over-fishing can drastically decrease certain fish species, disrupt multiple Trophic levels.

  • Fishing techniques

  • Fishing gear

  • Anchoring of fishing vessels

Threats to coral reefs2
Threats to Coral Reefs

  • Global Climate Change

  • Biggest threat to coral reefs.

  • Bleaching and spread of infectious diseases.

  • CO2 in atmosphere causing “ocean acidification”.

  • Rising water level, harder for light to get to corals.

Solutions to coral reef threats
Solutions to Coral Reef Threats

  • NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and other agencies.

  • Fishing

  • “No Take” Zones-Florida Keys

  • Fish Replenishment Areas-West Hawaii

Solutions to coral reef threats1
Solutions to Coral Reef Threats

  • Pollution

  • Control land based pollution sources.

  • Focus on protection of watershed quality

  • Easements, Trusts or Reserves from stakeholders party (local, state, federal, etc.)

Global climate change
Global Climate Change

  • Too big for NOAA

  • Reduce the emissions of Green House Gases.

  • Too much excess CO2 already in atmosphere, coral reefs will be affected throughout this century.

  • Ocean absorbs 1/3 of additional CO2 from humans, causes further “ocean acidification”.

Restoration ecology coral reefs
Restoration Ecology & Coral Reefs

  • Many coral reefs have passed their Abiotic threshold.

  • Assisting recovery of “freak landscapes”.

  • Increase ecological integrity and historical fidelity.

  • Goals must be dynamic, b/c ecosystems are dynamic.

Restoration ecology coral reefs1
Restoration Ecology & Coral Reefs

  • Coral Farming or Gardening

  • Fragment poorly spaced Corals.

  • Attach to grate in nursery area.

  • Transplant when mature.

Restoration ecology coral reefs2
Restoration Ecology & Coral Reefs

  • Collection of gametes during coral spawning.

  • Rear juvenile coral communities in lab from fertilized eggs.

  • Once mature, transplanted back into reef.

Restoration ecology coral reefs3
Restoration Ecology & Coral Reefs

  • Education

  • “Adopt-A-Coral” program.

  • Increase public awareness

  • No social constraint

Restoration ecology coral reefs4
Restoration Ecology & Coral Reefs

  • Coral Farming



  • Coral Reef-,r:9,s:93&biw=1280&bih=680

  • Barrier Reef-,r:8,s:57&biw=1280&bih=680

  • Fringing Reef-,r:0,s:0

  • Atolls-


  • Coral Polyp-

  • Zooxanthelae Algae-

  • Sedimentation-

  • Blast Fishing-

  • Bleaching-

  • Coral Farming-

  • Coral Spawning-

  • Adopt-A-Coral-

  • Adopt-A-Coral-


  • EPA, . "Coral Reef Protection: What Are Coral Reefs?." United States Environmental Protection Agency 04/06/2011: n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2011. <>.

  • NOAA, . "NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program." U.S. Department of Commerce:National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration . NOAA, 02/02/2010. Web. 18 Apr 2011. <>.

  • Linden, B., and B. Rinkevich. "Creating Stocks Of Young Colonies From Brooding Coral Larvae, Amenable To Active Reef Restoration." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 398.1-2 (2011): 40-46. Web. 18 Apr 2011. <>.

  • Waddell, , and Clark. "The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems Of The United States And Pacific Freely Associated States." NOAA's State Of The Coast 2008: n. pag. Web. 18 Apr 2011. <>.