We can help prevent coral bleaching
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells
We’ve all heard the statistics before – the ocean covers over 70 percent of the earth and carries 97 percent of its total water. But did you know that coral reefs carry 25 percent of all aquatic life? Coral reefs are very important to the vitality of the ocean. Not only are coral reefs valuable for many marine specimens, but they are beneficial to humanity.
Organisms inhabiting coral reefs have been found to contain certain properties that help combat against numerous diseases such as cancer and HIV. In addition, coral reefs act as barriers when storms strike across the seas. Sadly, many corals are dying. If there is a change in the environment, such as a rise in temperature, the corals will release algae, which causes the coral to turn white.
This process is known as coral bleaching. According to World Wide Fund for Nature, other reasons for coral bleaching are overfishing and pollution.
In addition, WWF states that 25 percent of coral reefs around the globe are completely ruined and two-thirds of coral reefs are threatened with extinction.
Without coral reefs, many sea creatures will not have a safe haven and will be exposed to the cruel, open waters.
Biodiversity in the seas will become a thing of the past. Also, we will lose a resource that helps aid in eliminating certain illnesses. There will be no more research on other possible benefits from organisms that come from coral reefs. Many times, we as a society overlook how important nature is and take it for granted. We throw trash on the ground and in the waters without any regards to how it impacts the world around us.
We need to open our eyes and see how we treat this place we call home. As Christians, it is especially important that we take care of not only our oceans, but the earth as a whole. God made this planet for us to watch over.
In Genesis 1:26, God says that He has given us authority over the animals in the ocean and on land. What does that say of us as children of God when we neglect God’s creations?
So, what are some ways to reduce coral bleaching? The first thing is to be aware of your energy usage.
By being conscientious of this, you can help eliminate the effects of climate change on the ocean.
You can also use less plastic items. For instance, you can use a reusable water bottle and put food in non-disposable containers.
If you have plastic products, remember to recycle to reduce waste.
Lastly, make sure to throw away and recycle any items when traveling to the beach rather than tossing them on the ground.
These steps will help protect the ocean and its inhabitants.
If you think you alone aren’t enough to help coral reefs, remember that one small raindrop is all it takes for the ripple effect to take place.