Known as paradise around the world, Hawaii is also a graveyard of coral. Covering one percent of the Earth’s surface, coral reefs are slowly decreasing as a result of bleaching. According to KITV4’s recent report about coral bleaching in Hawaii, “75 percent of the corals surveyed in Lanikai, Waimanalo, Kaneohe and Hanauma were dead or dying” (qtd. in Moser 00:35). Over twenty-five percent of innocent sea animals lose their home when the coral reef is destroyed. Human activity clout the growth of the coral reef. A home for sea animals and a barrier that protects Hawaii’s shoreline, coral reefs are critical to marine life, and without awareness and immediate action, the Great Barrier Reef will cease to exist.
The coral reef ecosystem relies on other living creatures to survive. Coral reef obtains beautiful colors from microscopic organisms called algae. The algae supplies the coral with nutrients and oxygen to support the coral’s structure. Meanwhile the coral provides the algae with carbon dioxide to perform photosynthesis. Their survival depends on their cooperation with one another; an example of symbiosis. However, when the coral is stressed by its environment, the process of bleaching begins. For example, if the temperature of the water rises, the algae quickly evacuate from the coral, stripping it of all its nutrients. Exposed and vulnerable, the coral slowly loses its beautiful colors and becomes pale white. The symbiosis between the coral and the algae is disrupted. “Without the algae, the coral loses its major source of food,” (“Coral Bleaching?” para 1) and drained of its resources, the damaged coral , “... is more susceptible to diseases” (1). If conditions are prolonged, the coral ev...
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...ral reef, but it is also securing a safer place for future generations. Our actions today affect the world tomorrow.
There is no such thing as action without consequences. Although the ocean is a powerful entity, it cannot be taken for granted. By taking measures to minimize the greenhouse effect, we can help the ocean to maintain the pH level and moderate sea temperature that is conducive to the health of algae. In turn the algae will support the growth of the coral reef. The coral reef provides Hawaii with not only its beauty, but also its resources; affecting “highly diverse populations of marine plants, invertebrates, fish, sea turtles, and marine mammals” (Lee 1). If human were to act immediately then we could also have a symbiotic relationship with the coral reef. After all, it is our responsibility to protect this most precious gift - the great barrier reef.
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