Coral reefs, magnificent underwater world full of vivacity.

A reef is a large group of rocks at the bottom of the ocean, but did you know that a reef is really alive and covered with very small animals called corals? These animals stick their tiny skeletons to the rocks as if they were making their own houses, so they end up staying in the same place all their life. They are seldom found alone but are joined with many other corals forming what are known as colonies or also, sea jungles; as in a jungle, one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth is formed in the reefs, where almost a quarter of the marine species such as fish (remember Nemo?), starfish, crabs, clams, sea serpents, etc.

Coral reefs are very fragile ecosystems, in part because they are very sensitive to water temperature changes. They are endangered due to climate change, acidification of the oceans, fishing with explosives and water pollution. Even sometimes, storms can alter the coral depending on how often they occur and how severe they are. If coral reefs are under a lot of stress, as in these conditions, they can expel the algae that live in them and turn completely white. This is known as coral bleaching. This does not necessarily mean that the coral is dead – corals can survive bleaching! However, they become more vulnerable to death, especially if the stress continues for a long period of time.

What can we do to help conserve the reefs?

  • If you go to the beach, avoid touching the corals, treat them as if they were works of art.
  • Conserve water, the less you use, the less pollution that reaches our seas.
  • Organize and dispose of garbage properly, any material that enters the bodies of water, whether ravines,  rivers and lakes, will reach the sea.
  • Participate in cleaning the beaches. Every year many organizations and groups carry out cleaning campaigns on the beaches. Join and participate.
  • Spread the voice, remember that your enthusiasm can reach many. Let everyone know how important coral reefs are to our coasts and all the organisms that rely on them to survive and preserve biodiversity.
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