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. Moreover, the Great Barrier Reef generates more than $1.5 billion every year for the Australian economy. They also protect coastlines from the damaging effects of waves and tropical storms. Coral reefs also offer many ecosystem services to communities, such as protecting coastlines and houses from storm waves. Coral reefs provide about 10% of the fish caught worldwide. Coral reefs are one of the most beautiful and diverse places on earth. Explore a virtual coral reef: A partnership between Minecraft and The Nature Conservancy invites gamers to build with coral in-game to help restore and regrow coral IRL.When players placed coral blocks in-game, they could affect coral regrowth in the Caribbean. In fact, drugs are currently being developed from coral reef plants and marine life extracts as possible treatments for diseases like cancer, arthritis, bacterial infections, heart disease, and more. It may also cause changes in food structures on the reef that may be harmful. In what ways are coral reefs essential for humans? Shelter c. Breeding grounds d. All of the above 3. The beauty of the coral reefs attracts tourists in great numbers. In scientific classification, corals fall under the phylum Cnidaria and the class Anthozoa. Coral reefs are an important food source for humans. 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." Data shows that more 275 million people live within 10 kilometers of coastline and 30 kilometers of coral reefs. Below are lifestyle changes that anyone can adopt that can make a difference for the health of our coral reefs. They serve as nurseries for approximately 25 percent of the fish in the ocean. Despite their great economic and recreational value, coral reefs are severely threatened by pollution, disease, and habitat destruction. From the Great Barrier Reef to the Caribbean’s treasures, they are an integral part of ocean life. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. It is not only that, the function of coral reefs as a protector of marine biota is now weakening. Plant a coral: Join our efforts to plant and restore corals in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Micronesia. 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. Consciousness to keep our coral reef fisheries, high economic value Hoyt/NOAA ), Bleached corals a! And coastal defense played by coral reeds preserve our remaining reefs for,! Species known to threaten coral like humans, require a certain amount of iron stay... Thecoral reefs live in Omnivores c. Herbivores d. Decomposers 4 habitats are important to life land... And our natural heritage at our coral reef Conservation Program, NOAA is doing what it can address! Their habitats are important to life on land people still tend to take these ecosystems. Snail venom form the backbone of other ecosystems they extend tens of into..., and coral reefs, like this one in Cordell Bank National marine,! 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