Coral reefs contain some of the most amazing, colorful and diverse ecosystems on Earth. Although coral reefs make up just a tiny fragment of the ocean’s underwater area, they support over 25% of known marine life. It’s rather difficult to underestimate the value that coral reefs add to the diversity and sustainability of our oceans.
Although reefs are highly structured, they have many variants and perform a variety of functions. More than just pretty “rocks”, coral reefs are truly the foundation of their surrounding ecosystems. In that way, you could consider them the “design patterns” of the ocean!
Unfortunately, coral reefs are in dramatic decline around the world. Potentially 90% of known coral reefs may be in serious danger in as little as ten years. Various organizations are actively working to find ways to mitigate the issues caused from pollution, overfishing and physical damage done to reefs. For more information, check out the following great resources: