Imagine you are going snorkeling off the beaches of Australia about 20 years ago. You look under the water and see a arrangement of colorful corals. Then in 20 years you return back to the same spot. This time when you look underwater all you see is white dead coral. This was caused by pollution. Pollution is killing coral everywhere pollution and coral cross paths.
Past of the Reefs
Coral reefs haven’t always been dying. Coral is actually a shell for soft squishy creatures called coral polyps. Coral gets its color from the algae that grows on it. This is what makes the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world, so colorful. The reef is losing its color by pollution (coral bleaching.) Once people started polluting the ocean, the water temperature started to rise. This is what is killing the reefs.
Pollution is causing problems. The water temperature is rising. This is caused by big factories and cars running and polluting the air. This will eventually kill all the coral but it's not the only problem caused by pollution. Fish and turtles are choking on trash in the water. For fish they think it is coral that was detached and they eat it and choke to death. The turtles will think it's jellyfish and eat it and choke to death. (see the pattern?) If we continue to throw trash in the sand and continue to pollute the air, every reef will die. This will lead to a chain effect and eventually humans will die. Coral bleaching is happening all over the world
What we can do
What can we do to help the reefs? We can turn off our lights. In our rooms in middle of the day you can let natural light fill the room. Instead of watching TV you can read a book. Try and sleep with the lights off and unplug your phones. Another way to help is to recycle. Instead of bringing trash to a burner to pollute the air, you can recycle. Recycling can go from putting your recyclables into the recycling bin or using empty cans, bottles, and other things to create your own inventions. You can also pick up trash and don't litter. When you see a granola bar wrapper on the street, pick it up don't let it get blown far away. Next time you’re on the beach pick up any trash you see.
You may be thinking so what if they all die. Well many species of fish would be killed and work through the food chain. Coral reefs are also a main source for tourism. Tourism is a main source for income in some countries. So if you're protecting them to keep humans from extinction or to keep your country getting money, keep doing it.