Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Sea

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12 Questions

What percentage of the ocean floor do coral reefs make up?


Which country is home to the largest coral reef, over 1,200 miles long?


How much is Florida's reef worth in tourism every year?

$6.3 billion

What activity can damage coral reefs in areas like the Caribbean?

Building resorts and ports

Why do coral reefs need clean, clear water to live?

To prevent algae growth

How are coral reefs damaged when pollutants are disposed of into the water?

They cover with pollutants

What is the main impact of pollution on coral reefs as mentioned in the text?

Increases the risk of disease and slows coral growth

How does pollution from distant places like Mississippi or Mexico affect reefs in Florida?

It negatively affects the reefs in Florida

What environmental factor is primarily responsible for coral bleaching?

Increased carbon dioxide levels

How do coral reefs contribute to the economy of many communities?

By providing opportunities for fishing and supporting local businesses

What is one potential consequence of overfishing on coral reef areas?

Damaging or destruction of coral reef areas

How can individuals contribute to protecting ecosystems like coral reefs, according to the text?

Planting trees and reducing waste generation

Study Notes

Coral Reefs

  • Coral reefs make up a small percentage of the ocean floor, but have a significant impact on the ecosystem.

Largest Coral Reef

  • The largest coral reef, over 1,200 miles long, is found in Australia.

Economic Impact

  • Florida's coral reef is worth millions in tourism every year.

Threats to Coral Reefs

  • Coral reefs in areas like the Caribbean are damaged by overfishing and careless anchoring.
  • Clean, clear water is essential for coral reefs to thrive, as pollutants and sediments can smother them.
  • Pollutants and excess nutrients in the water can cause coral reefs to become diseased, leading to coral bleaching.

Effects of Pollution

  • Pollution has a significant impact on coral reefs, causing disease and coral bleaching.
  • Pollution from distant places like Mississippi or Mexico can affect reefs in Florida through ocean currents.

Environmental Factors

  • Rising water temperatures are primarily responsible for coral bleaching.

Contribution to the Economy

  • Coral reefs contribute significantly to the economy of many communities through tourism and fishing.


  • One potential consequence of overfishing on coral reef areas is the depletion of key species, leading to an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Individual Actions

  • Individuals can contribute to protecting ecosystems like coral reefs by making environmentally conscious choices, such as reducing pollution and supporting sustainable tourism practices.

Discover the fascinating world of coral reefs, known as the rainforests of the sea, which are vital ecosystems in our oceans. Learn about their importance, growth in tropical waters, and their impact on tourism and marine life.

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