Did you know that Tuesday, June 1st is World Reef Awareness Day? One of our biggest missions at EcoPro is to protect and conserve our water resources. But conserving and protecting water is more than just about water. It’s also about protecting and celebrating the life forms that make water their home. These are 8 world reef facts you probably didn’t know.
1) Reefs are actually living things and not plants
Many people believe that coral are plants but they’re actually animals. In the ocean exist both hard and soft varieties of coral which live together in large groups called colonies
2) Half a billion people rely on coral reefs for food
Coral reefs provide food for a variety of fish which, of course, provide food for us *cue the circle of life from The Lion King*. According to the Reef-World Foundation, around 500 million people in the world consume fish that live on coral reefs.
3) Coral reefs need sunlight just like us
Coral reefs thrive in clear, shallow water. They thrive in waters that are around 70 meters as the sunlight can still reach them.
4) Too much heat can be harmful
Coral and algae have a beautiful, symbiotic relationship. But if and when the ocean gets too warm, corals expel the algae which cause the coral to turn white. A process that is known as bleaching. In an attempt to combat and survive through the intense high temps, corals have been known to emit vibrant colors, which is a phenomenon known as Glowing.
5) Coral reefs act as water filters
Corals and their friends, the sponge, often feed on particles found in the ocean around them. This leaves the surrounding waters clear and gorgeous
6) They’re Old
Like really old. How old you might ask? Oh, about 240 million years old
7) They Clean The Water
Coral and the sponges that live near them often feed on particles around them resulting in incredibly clear water
8) They Are a Barrier During Storms
Coral reefs protect coastal cities during storms and water surges. They are able to slow water down and help slow coastal erosion.