The Coral Reefs

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There are many diverse plant communities in south Florida, but some of the most enigmatic plant communities are found underwater. The coral reefs are a landscape that many people have not had much contact with. Much like how only the elite, travelling, or industrial entities have a view from the ocean, the coral reefs are only viewed by the adventurous or lucky few that can reach their subterranean habitat. But just because they are not seen from the surface does not mean they should be hard to get to. If the city as we know it should be protected from its imminent future of sea level rise, we must have more access and connected gateways to our waters so we can be reminded that South Florida and Miami is a city filled with diverse tropical forests surrounded by ocean and bay and interlaced with rivers, canals, and streams. Going by boat should be a common travelling medium, and at marked locations, swimming a small distance away should transport you to the beginnings of healthy and consistently growing sea grasses and coral reef tract striations. During our course we travelled to the Everglades where we walked a raised path over each landscape, it would be compelling to have a similar goal for corals. The corals mystify those amongst us that are drawn to questions of our limited understanding of this landscape. Although we will find that coral reefs are composed of many plants, sediment and microorganisms, the line where one acts separate from the other will be hard draw. The South Florida coral reef tract looks like a ghost path of the existing shore line, it varies in width but is limited in its growth due to its dependency on shallow and warm waters. Specifically, coral reefs are a forest of “plants” and organisms that... ... middle of paper ... ...t because of its protein even though its parents do not. Studying the hybrid coral growth patterns could possibly help insure the health of a larger coral reef system by mixing them with hybrids. Works Cited Myers, Ronald L., and John J. Ewel. Ecosystems of Florida. Orlando: U of Central Florida, 1990. Print. Picture of the Week: Fused Staghorn Coral." N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2015 Makowski, Christopher. Development and Application of a New Comprehensive Image-based Classification Scheme for Coastal and Benthic Environments along the Southeast Florida Continental Shelf. P. 1-45, Print. "Corals." NOAA National Ocean Service Education:. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2015.

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