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The Coral Reef Collection

In honor of World Ocean Day, we’re celebrating the beauty of marine ecosystems and highlighting the need to protect them with a capsule inspired by the vibrant colors seen across coral reefs. Discover our new shades Lagoon Green, Barrier Blue, Reef Orange and Kelp Green.

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Rainforests of the Sea

Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and valuable ecosystems in the world. They only occupy 0.1% of the ocean but support 25% of all marine species on the planet and are often referred to as the ‘Rainforests of the Sea’.

They are a source of food, provide habitat for millions of marine animals and organisms, and protect coastlines from storms and erosion. Around 850 million people live within 100km of coral reefs, with at least 275 million depending directly on reefs for livelihoods and sustenance. These precious areas of biodiversity are highly endangered and must be protected.

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What kinds of animals live in coral reefs?

Coral reefs provide food and shelter for millions of marine animals including fish, corals, octopus, lobsters, clams, sharks, seahorses, sponges, manta rays and sea turtles – to name a few.

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What is coral bleaching?

A direct result of rising sea temperatures is ‘coral bleaching’. The warm water causes vibrant, colorful corals to expel the algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white and become coral ‘graveyards’. This leaves corals vulnerable to disease, stunts growth, affects reproduction, can impact other species that depend on them and eventually destroy them.

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5 of the world’s most endangered Coral Reefs

Seychelles Coral Reefs → lost up to 90% of its coral reefs after a catastrophic bleaching event in 1998.
Kingman Reef in Hawaii → suffering from invasive algae species, blotting out various forms of life and turning corals a dark green or black.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef → the world’s largest coral reef system and one of the most splendid natural wonders. But in 2016, bleaching affected 90% of corals throughout Australia’s waters.
Caribbean Coral Reefs → More than 50% of the area covered by reefs in the 1970s no longer exists. Waste is being poured into the water, polluting reef habitats and causing them to deteriorate.
Southeast Asian Coral Reefs → plastic pollution and overfishing are changing reef dynamics.

Why are coral reefs endangered?
They are threatened by a variety of factors including:
1. Climate change, ocean warming (leading to coral bleaching) and rising levels of CO2 in the water
2. Hurricanes and tsunamis
3. Overfishing or destructive fishing practices such as dynamite fishing or bottom trawling
4. Pollution
5. Careless tourism
6. Sedimentation: sediments from construction and farming end up in the ocean and kill corals by depriving them of light. The destruction of mangrove forests which usually trap large amounts of sediment is also aggravating the issue.
7. Coastal development
8. Coral mining for use as bricks, road fills or cement, or to be sold as souvenirs.

The case of Hurricane Hole (St. John, US Virgin Islands)

This highlights the importance of mangrove trees in the protection of coral reefs. Researchers discovered that among the tree roots were over 30 coral species, including 4 threatened species. They seem to have survived the bleaching that destroyed the nearby reefs, suggesting the mangroves protected them. The corals that live in mangroves may have also evolved to be more resistant to bleaching than those who live elsewhere.

What can you do to help?
Here are a few things you can do to help protect and preserve marine biodiversity and coral reefs:
- Adopt a coral
- Volunteer for reef cleanups if you live close to the ocean.
Choose only sustainable seafood or go vegan.
- Avoid using chemical products that end up in waterways – during summertime, be especially mindful of which sunscreen you wear and make sure you choose a ‘Reef Safe’ one.

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To save coral reefs, we must first save mangroves

Mangrove forests with stilt-like roots protect coastal land from erosion and help reduce the damage caused by hurricanes and tsunamis. They can also serve as a haven for corals, as the shade they provide prevents the surrounding water from extra heating.

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How is PANGAIA helping?

Preserving mangroves has been seen as a method to help coral reefs survive the devastating effects of the climate crisis.

For each product sold, we plant 1 mangrove tree with SeaTrees on your behalf. One mangrove tree stores approximately 1 ton of CO2, protects coral reefs, traps sediment and shields corals from extra heat, preventing bleaching.

1 PANGAIA product purchased = 1 mangrove tree planted = 1 step closer to protecting and preserving coral reefs across the world.