Coral.

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The coral reef structure also buffers shorelines against waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion. Several million people live in U.S. coastal areas adjacent to or near coral reefs, and the well-being of their communities and economies is directly dependent on the health of nearby coral reefs.

Reefs also protect the highly productive mangrove fisheries and wetlands along the coast, as well as ports and harbors and the economies they support. Globally, half a billion people are estimated to live within 100 kilometers of a coral reef and benefit from its production and protection.

As well as providing lives, coral reefs also save them. Coral reefs prevent erosion at along the coasts, acting as a barrier, holding back floods, waves, and storms. Coral reefs have saved houses in the past with their efforts; several million people in the U.S. owe coral reefs their homes as its solid structure has been able to protect them from natural occurrences. Not only do people benefit from the services provided by coral reefs, however mangrove fisheries, as well as wetlands, not to mention also ports and harbours have remained protected from the strong forces of the sea thanks to coral reefs. Coral reefs protects around 500 million globally, that live within 100 kilometers from a reef that they owe thanks to for protecting their homes.

As well as providing lives, coral reefs also save them. Coral reefs prevent erosion at along the coasts, acting as a barrier, holding back floods, waves, and storms. Coral reefs have saved houses in the past with their efforts; several million people in the U.S. owe coral reefs their homes as its solid structure has been able to protect them from natural occurrences. Not only do people benefit from the services provided by coral reefs, however mangrove fisheries, as well as wetlands, not to mention also ports and harbours have remained protected from the strong forces of the sea thanks to coral reefs. Coral reefs protects around 500 million globally, that live within 100 kilometers from a reef that they owe thanks to for protecting their homes.

Yet another comparison can be made between rainforests and coral reefs, for both of them supply natural medicinal resources to major diseases such as HIV, cancer, heart disease, arthritis (joint disorder), cardiovascular diseases, ulcers, leukemia, and many more. Because of this, they have also been referred to as "medicinal cabinets" of the 21st Century. Even today, scientists are vigorously researching the resources that these unexplored hospitals may offer us. And so if we preserve them, they can be of much use to us in the future, assuming we know more about its medicinal value - for it may be able to solve future medicinal dilemmas.

Coral reefs provide a home to 4,000 fish species, mollusks, worms, crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters, echinoderms, such as sea urchins, sea cucumbers and starfish, sponges, tunicates and cnidarians, such as Jellyfish . Coral reefs are the largest underwater ecosystems, and to add to the wonder, scientists believe that we are still yet to discover 1 to 8 million more unknown species, found in coral reefs, this biological diversity is part of what makes it distinctive.

A good example can be found in Bonaire, a small Caribbean island. Bonaire earns about USD $23 million annually from coral reef activities, yet managing its marine park costs less than $1 million per year (Talbot F., and C. Wilkinson, 2001, Coral Reefs, Mangroves and Seagrasses: A Sourcebook for Managers). The variety of marine life and protected beaches supported by coral reefs provide an inviting setting for sightseers, sunbathers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. In fact, there are more than 8.5 million certified scuba divers in the United States who spend money on dive vacations each year. In 1997, the State of Florida earned USD $1.6 billion from coral reef and beach-related tourism. For...
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