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              Coral Reef Facts

  • Coral reefs are in crisis, dying at an alarming rate worldwide.
  • An estimated 25% of coral reefs have already disappeared and an estimated two-thirds of all coral reefs are at risk today.1
  • An estimated 88% of the reefs in Southeast Asia - the most species rich reefs on earth - are at risk.1
  • Since 1975, more than 90% of the reefs in the Florida Keys have lost their living coral cover (study by Dr. Phil Dustan).
  • Threats to the world's coral reefs include:
    • Pollution
    • Disease
    • Over-fishing
    • Dynamite and cyanide fishing
    • Sedimentation
    • Bleaching caused by rising ocean temperatures
  • Called the "rainforests of the sea," coral reefs are the greatest expression of ocean life, and the most biodiverse ecosystem on Earth with 30 of 34 known animal phyla present.  
  • Unlike the rainforest, there is no comprehensive global baseline map of living coral reefs. This is urgently needed. A satellite mission dedicated to remote sensing of coral reefs can provide this critical global baseline.

1 Please see Reefs at Risk series, World Resources Institute.

The most important fact:
There are solutions to this crisis.

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