Help to restore coral reefs in Key West

Wonderful news! The United way of Collier and the Keys have announced a 3.5 million gift from the United Arab Emirates to help restore 7 iconic reefs in the Florida keys.

The troubled reefs in the Keys just got some help. United Arab Emirates donates $3.5M

Check out this webpage for the info:

Why are coral reefs so important?
Coral reefs support about 40% of the world’s marine life. Key West is home to the third largest barrier reef system in the world. Since the 1970s we’ve lost around as 90% of our indigenous coral coverage in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean Basin. Besides providing habitats to many marine organisms, reefs also protect coastlines from damaging storms, provide nitrogen and other nutrients to the marine food web and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 
Coral reefs are important for many different reasons.
  • are the source of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for marine food chains
  • assist in carbon and nitrogen fixing
  • help with nutrient recycling.
  • protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms
  • provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms

There are a number of factors that play into the decrease in coral coverage.

What has caused such a decrease in our coral reef? 

  1. Climate change and global warming
  2. Diseases resulting from the above stressors
  3. Ocean acidification
  4. The loss of 98% of our spiny urchins in the 1980s. This key reef species are grazers, that eat algae accumulated on hard coral which keeps it clean and healthy for more coral to develop. Without the spiny urchins, the coral substrate is covered in algae, which leads to bacteria and infections, and prohibits coral from spawning and growing.
  5. Water quality and pollution

In order to reverse this crisis, coral restoration and spiny urchin restoration are a must. Water quality improvements and initiatives. 

How can I help? 

Take steps to lower your carbon footprint. 

If we really work to lower our carbon footprint then we can have a sizable impact in a positive way to save our coral reef sustainability.

Check out the Earth Institute at Columbia University. They have compiled a list of the 35 easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. It is great information.

Donate to coral reef restoration or simply spread the word. 

If you don’t have the time to become actively involved, you can support the coral reef with a  donation.  

Raising public awareness is also another step you can take to help. Tell your friends about the threats to coral reefs and the steps they can take to help.  

How people contribute to the coral reef problem is always positive. Every single person does make a difference on this planet can make a difference.

Decide to be dedicated to be environmentally conscious, sustainable practices and be Earth-friendly. Your planet will love you for it.

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