What is a reef?
What is the purpose of a reef?
A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups
Where do you find coral reefs?
Corals are found all over the world’s oceans, from Alaska to the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea. The biggest coral reefs are found in the clear, shallow waters of the tropics and subtropics. The largest of these coral reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, is more than 1,500 miles long (2,400 kilometers).
Healthy reefs lead to healthy oceans, and healthy oceans are vital to all life on Earth. The destruction facing every reef around the world can lead to the extinction of thousands of species of marine life. In turn, coastlines currently protected by reefs would more readily flood during storms, some islands and low-lying countries would vanish under the water, and the $30 billion industry that coral reefs provide could collapse.