October Update

Bought a standard poodle puppy.  Bringing him home October 5, so October will be full of housebreaking, and FUN.

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Coral Reef Loss: Many Causes, One Solution?

How terrible it is that we are losing coral reefs!  We love them because they're so beautiful.  But we need them because they provide worldwide ecological sites for any number of other living organisms, especially fish.  I hope, hope, hope it’s not too late to learn from the world’s loss of tropical rainforests with all their associated species.  Let’s act to prevent the same thing from happening to coral reefs.

         A big part of the problem of coral reef loss is that there are so many causes. Global warming results in warmer seas.  Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere results in more acid seas.  Pollution and human commerce poison and disturb coral larvae, so that they don’t replace older coral generations.  Over-fishing depletes several types of fish: those that scrape away dead corals to prepare for new, those that eat large, branching algae that can poison or out-compete corals, and those that eat equally deleterious microalgae.  Then comes an insidious cycle: when coral reefs shrink, they attract few fish, leading to more seaweed overgrowth.  Destructive fishing practices physically destroy reefs.  At first glance, it looks like there is no one answer.

         But a recent article in TheScientist shows good conservation results from establishing marine protected areas that focus on coral reef preservation.

         Marine protected areas diminish human commerce around a reef.  Such protected areas can be managed to maintain healthy fish populations in the vicinity.  In addition, marine scientists can study what works in these protected areas, so that such methods can be expanded to preserve and rebuild both fish stocks and threatened coral reefs.

         I’m all for this!  Are you?  What a sign of spiritual health it would be if we all were. 

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