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Name: Wynne A Wells
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Question:
Can you tell me the importance of coral reefs?



Replies:
Coral reefs are important for many different reasons:

*the coral reef is "biologically diverse" that means there are many different kinds of animals and plants that live theree This is important, because just like the tropical rainforests, Coral reefs may be the source of medicines, chemicals or other resources that haven't even been discovered yet, and unless we save these environments, we'll never get the chance to discover these resources that we need;

*Coral reefs are "biologically productive" , which means there are lots of each thing that grows here. Many of the creatures that l live here, like lobsters and fish, we depend on for food, even here in the Midwest , and all around the world!

*Coral reefs are beautiful places, and provide income from tourists to many otherwise poor countries around the world.

*Reefs are very stable, and provide a protective barrier around many islands and coasts. Without the reefs these islands and coasts will erode away into the ocean.

*It is important to protect the reefs we have today, because they can't be replaced. Reefs are formed very slowly by tiny animals called "coral". Each animal is tinier than your pinky nail, and grows very slowly, only about 1 centimeter a year. The reefs we have today were formed over 100s of thousands of years, and it would take just as long to grow back, if they grow back at all Oil drilling and erosion from developing coasts near reefs are big problems.

Tom F Ihde



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