Recognized on the 1st of June it is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and other organizations to consider the fragile ecosystem of the coral reefs in our oceans. The day brings together people of all ages influential people, opinion leaders and influencers to effect change by education and involvement.

Coral reefs exist as living colonies consisting of colonial organisms composed of individual polyps which produce bones-like skeletons. The skeleton creates massive rock-like structures which are habitats for thousands of species.

The condition of the reef can tell us something about the overall state of the ocean. A lot of marine animals and fish depend on the living, healthy reef during the spawning season. It also offers more than just protection. It offers a healthy, abundant food chain too. From algae and plankton, to the biggest marine creatures that live in the reef, it is an important life-sustaining system.

Importance of Healthy Reef

The advantages of the healthy reef ecosystem extend way over the ocean. Coral reefs provide:

  • vital to the plant as well as life of fish
  • can contribute to an active fishing industry
  • ensures the protection of the coastlines, beaches and shorelines from erosion
  • acts as a filtering system for oceans.
  • can provide life-saving medications and
  • may be the only animal in the world capable of eating plastic

In recent times our reefs that are the most productive are in decline as a result of coral bleaching. For instance The Great Barrier Reef decreased by 40. The decline is even more severe in the Florida Keys and Caribbean. The decline in the Caribbean ranges between 85 to 99 percent! As per the Dr. Craig Downs, Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Lab, about 90 percent of Reefs that are found in the Caribbean have gone extinct since 1980.

Causes of Die-Off

What is the reason coral reefs disappear?

  • Sea temperatures are risingsea temperatures
  • Industries pollution plastic pollution, sewage
  • Chemical sunscreens and
  • Unmanaged Tourism with high density all can be a threat to coral reefs.

One simple step we can make to safeguard these precious resources is applying sunscreen that is non-nano zinc oxide

As per Dr. Craig Downs, “When substances are not coated and have a nano-sized (less that 100 nanometers size) it is possible for them to be absorbed into the cells of fish and invertebrates, causing tissues damage, which can stress all marine organisms. It is recommended to select zinc oxide that is not nano-sized, greater then 150 nanometers. The toxic effects are less severe and the harm on ecosystems is reduced.”