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Our Oceans Depend on Elkhorn Coral!

ecoElkhorn Coral is the building block of our oceans. It is the foundation of all coral reefs, which are the most intensely diverse ecosystem on our planet. Elkhorn Coral also provides crucial habitat to many marine species which call coral reefs home, and it also is a main food source for many of these species. On top of all of that, it also absorbs tons of carbon dioxide from the ocean every year therefore preventing acidification and ocean temperature increases. When coral dies, it releases all of that sequestered carbon dioxide back into the ocean, which causes ocean acidification and temperature increases. And, not to mention the fact that Elkhorn Coral is one of the most beautiful species we have here on this earth (McGee, 2008).

Protection of Coastlines

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The world as we know it would completely fall apart without coral reefs. Now, this may sound like an exaggeration, but it truly is not. Coral reefs are the reason that our coastlines stay in tact. See, the coral that lives in shallow waters off the coast protects the shoreline from intense waves that would otherwise erode the shorline endlesslely. In fact, it may be an understatement to say that without Elkhorn Coral, millions of people would be displaced because of costal city destruction from waves (Shah, 2009). Back to Top

 

Carbon Sequestering
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Losing a coral reef is like losing the rainforest underwater. These animals have the same crucial role as the trees in the forest. Would you really want to see some of the most beautiful and diverse species become extinct? If coral reefs become extinct we will lose so much more than just that. Coral reefs play a key role in the carbon cycle, and if humans keep increasing carbon emissions through cars, factories and extensive energy use, losing our reefs could impact the earth much more than ever imagined (Hagedorn, 2008).

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Biological Productivity

Even though coral reefs only cover intrinsicone percent of the Earth’s surface, they are home to more than twenty-five percent of all marine fish species making them “biologically productive”. They have a high recycling rate for nutrients allowing biodiversity to thrive. Without the existence of coral reefs, parts of Florida would be under water. At least 500 million people depend upon coral reefs for food, coastal protection, and their livelihood. (Petition to List, 2004).

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Intrinsic Value

Elkhorn Coral is worth saving whatever the cost. Their intrinsic value is incalculable. They are invaluable in medicine, ecological roles and importance to other species, coastal protection, and direct economic value. They are the most valuable marine habitat and the most beautiful of all aquatic ecosystems. They contain the largest variety of species of marine life in a very tiny area, producing more living biomass than any other marine ecosystem. (Petition to List, 2004). Every animal has the right to exist, so we should be trying not only save Elkhorn Coral, but all endangered and threatened species. Elkhorn Coral is irreplaceable in their critical role in the world. It took thousands of years for slow growing coral to grow to this vast extent in the oceans, and it would take just as long to grow back, if it were to grow back at all. Elkhorn Coral must be saved!

 

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