How To Protect The Ocean (Coral Reef)

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Syndication

Andrew Lewin discusses the impact of climate change on coral reefs. Despite the challenges they face, it is revealed that there are 25% more coral reefs than previously thought. Tune in to learn why this discovery is significant and what actions can be taken to protect these vital ecosystems.

Link to article: https://www.sciencealert.com/earths-coral-reefs-are-far-bigger-than-we-thought-satellite-imagery-reveals

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Satellite imagery and technology have revolutionized our understanding of coral reefs, revealing that there are 25% more coral reefs than initially thought. This discovery underscores the critical role of innovation in ocean conservation. The advancements in satellite technology, particularly in resolution and data processing, have enabled researchers to uncover previously unknown coral reef habitats.

The use of satellite imagery, coupled with machine learning algorithms, has allowed scientists to identify and map out these additional coral reef areas. By analyzing vast amounts of data from satellites like Sentinel-2 and Planet Dove CubeSat, researchers have been able to accurately predict the presence of coral reefs in various locations around the world. This innovative approach has led to the discovery of an extra 64,000 kilometers of coral reefs, equivalent to 24,700 square miles, an area the size of Ireland.

The significance of this finding cannot be overstated. The expanded knowledge of coral reef distribution provides valuable insights for conservation efforts. It highlights the importance of leveraging technology to better understand and protect marine ecosystems. The discovery of these additional coral reefs offers hope for the future of these vital habitats. It demonstrates that with continued innovation and technological advancements, we can uncover hidden treasures in the ocean and work towards their preservation.

The recent revelation that there are 25% more coral reefs than initially thought is a significant development in the realm of ocean conservation. This discovery, equivalent to the size of Ireland, showcases the resilience and hidden potential of coral reef ecosystems. The newfound coral reefs represent a vast expanse of marine biodiversity and habitat that was previously unknown, underscoring the importance of ongoing protection and conservation efforts.

The expanded knowledge of coral reef extent not only offers hope for the future of these vital ecosystems but also highlights the critical role that technology and innovation play in understanding and safeguarding our oceans. The use of satellite imagery, machine learning, and ground truthing has enabled researchers to uncover previously undiscovered coral reefs, demonstrating the power of scientific advancements in conservation.

This discovery serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of marine ecosystems and the urgent need to prioritize conservation measures to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of coral reefs. By identifying and protecting these additional coral reefs, we can enhance biodiversity, support ecosystem resilience, and mitigate the impacts of climate change and human activities on these fragile habitats.

Moving forward, it is essential to continue investing in research, monitoring, and conservation efforts to safeguard these newly discovered coral reefs and the existing ones. By working together to protect and preserve these invaluable ecosystems, we can secure a brighter future for coral reefs and the countless species that depend on them for survival.

Understanding the extent and health of coral reefs is crucial for effective management and conservation strategies to protect these vital marine habitats. In the podcast episode, Andrew Lewin discusses how advanced technology, such as satellite imagery and machine learning, plays a significant role in achieving this goal.

Satellite imagery has revolutionized the way we map and monitor coral reefs. By utilizing high-resolution satellite images, researchers can accurately identify and map coral reef habitats, including benthic habitats like coral reefs and seagrasses. This mapping is essential for assessing the size, distribution, and health of coral reefs, which are critical for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Machine learning, coupled with satellite imagery, has enabled scientists to analyze vast amounts of data to identify and quantify coral reef habitats. By processing satellite images through machine learning algorithms, researchers can detect and classify coral reefs with unprecedented accuracy. This technology has allowed for the discovery of previously unknown coral reef areas, expanding our understanding of the extent of these ecosystems.

The Allen Coral Atlas, mentioned in the episode, is a prime example of how satellite imagery and machine learning are used to map and monitor coral reefs globally. By combining satellite data with ground-truthing observations from a network of individuals and organizations, the Atlas has revealed that coral reefs are approximately 25% larger than previously thought. This newfound knowledge is invaluable for conservation efforts, as it provides a more comprehensive picture of coral reef ecosystems worldwide.

With this advanced technology, conservationists and policymakers can develop more targeted and effective management strategies to safeguard coral reefs. By understanding the distribution and health of coral reefs, conservation initiatives can be tailored to protect vulnerable areas and mitigate threats such as climate change, overfishing, and pollution. The ability to monitor changes in coral reef habitats over time allows for adaptive management practices that promote the resilience and sustainability of these critical marine ecosystems.

In conclusion, the integration of satellite imagery and machine learning in coral reef research is instrumental in enhancing our understanding of these habitats and guiding conservation efforts. By leveraging technology to map, monitor, and analyze coral reefs, we can implement proactive conservation strategies to ensure the long-term health and survival of these invaluable marine ecosystems.

Direct download: HTPTO_E1571_CoralReefCoverageMoreThanWeThought.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 7:27am EDT

The summer was tough on corals due to bleaching caused by high ocean temperatures. However, a researcher in Florida is trying to help by using crabs to eat the algae that cover the corals and hinder their growth. This ambitious plan involves breeding a quarter of a million Caribbean king crabs each year.

Link to article: https://www.vox.com/down-to-earth/2023/9/27/23883039/florida-coral-reef-caribbean-king-crabs-restoration

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The summer presented significant challenges for corals as they experienced widespread bleaching events caused by high ocean temperatures. In Florida waters, temperatures soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to extensive coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when corals expel the algae, known as zoanthellae, that reside within their tissues. These algae are vital for the growth and survival of corals as they provide them with food through photosynthesis. When the algae leave the coral skeleton, the corals lose their color and become bleached, appearing white. Prolonged bleaching can ultimately result in the death of corals.

Coral reefs play a crucial role in the ecosystem by providing essential habitats for fish, protecting shorelines, and serving as a food source for fishers. Protecting coral reefs is vital for our survival in numerous ways. However, the escalating impacts of climate change pose a significant threat to coral reefs worldwide. Climate change, with its rising sea surface temperatures, is causing more frequent and severe bleaching events. This trend is deeply concerning as corals require optimal conditions to grow and thrive. If corals are unable to grow, critical habitats will be lost, leading to dire consequences.

While individuals may feel limited in their ability to directly address climate change and its impacts on corals, there are still actions that can be taken to help protect and support these vulnerable ecosystems. Researchers suggest that reducing other stressors on corals, such as improving water quality and minimizing coastal development, can have a positive impact. High nutrient waters and sedimentation can harm corals by blocking sunlight and inhibiting their growth. By taking steps to minimize these stressors, individuals can contribute to the overall health and resilience of coral reefs.

In the episode, Dr. Jason Spadaro, a researcher at Moat Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in the Florida Keys, is leading an ambitious plan to breed a quarter of a million Caribbean king crabs each year. The purpose of breeding these crabs is not for seafood consumption, but rather to help coral reefs survive by consuming algae.

Corals are photosynthetic and symbiotic animals that rely on a type of algae called zooxanthellae to reside within their skeleton. However, when algae overgrows the corals, it blocks their access to sunlight, ultimately leading to their demise. This is where the crabs come in. Research conducted by Dr. Spadaro revealed that reefs with crabs had approximately 85% less algae compared to reefs without crabs. The crabs consume the algae, which aids the corals by removing the algae that covers them and inhibits their growth.

The need for crabs to consume algae is particularly crucial due to the challenges faced by coral reefs, such as high sea surface temperatures and nutrient pollution, which promote algae growth. Additionally, overfishing of herbivorous fish and diseases affecting urchins have resulted in a decline in the number of animals that naturally consume algae on the reefs. This lack of algae-eating animals has created an imbalance where the algae is not being sufficiently controlled.

To address this issue, Dr. Spadaro is working on introducing Caribbean king crabs to the Florida Key Reefs. He has established breeding facilities in both Sarasota, Florida, and the Florida Keys, with approximately 100 crabs in the Keys and 200 in Sarasota. By breeding and releasing these crabs into the reefs, he aims to increase the number of algae-consuming animals and help maintain a healthy balance between corals and algae.

The host of the podcast is currently recording the episode at his parents' house to assist in taking care of them. He explains that his mom has recently contracted COVID and is isolating in the basement, while his dad is immunocompromised. The host is staying with his parents to ensure his dad remains as healthy as possible and to provide assistance during this time. This personal situation has resulted in the host recording the episode late at night on a Thursday to ensure that the episodes can still be published on time.

 

Direct download: HTPTO_E1518_HelpingCoralWithCrabs.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Corals are facing a ton of challenges in the form of human disturbances and the potential loss of corals and coral reefs will devastate 25% of the species that depend on reefs for their survival. But there are efforts to protect and restore populations in the face of challenges such as climate change, water pollution, coastal development, and over-fishing. An organization called the Great Barrier Reef Legacy, based in Australia is working to do a different type of preservation. the organization wants to collect and preserve every species of coral in the Great Barrier Reef along with the genetic diversity of each coral species. The offsite facility that will house the species will act to stabilize their existence in case the wild populations are threatened with extinction and could act as brooding colonies for restoration purposes.
 
 
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Direct download: HTPTO_E1414_CoralModernDayNoahsArk.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

I answer a listener voicemail on today's episode. Laura asked if an organization's work, named Coral Vita, is worth supporting. She wanted to know if the work they do is helpful to coral reefs. 

Coral Vita recently won the Earthshot Prize as they were recognized for the coral reef restoration work that they do in the Bahamas. However, not every organization that wins a prize does work that will have a net benefit in the local region that they work. 

Coral Vita is one of those organizations that DO have a net benefit, locally. I discuss why in the podcast.

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Website: https://www.coralvita.co/ 

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Direct download: SUFB_S1228_AreCoralRestorationOrgsGoodForCoralReefs.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

BREAKING NEWS: The Allen Coral Atlas released a new tool that will monitor Coral Reef Bleaching in near real-time so that marine managers can take action steps to better monitor and manage their coral reefs. 

I speak with Dr. Greg Asner, Arizona State University's Director of the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science about how the Allen Coral Atlas got started, who was involved, and how the tool has evolved into a multi-product tool that is used by numerous scientists, conservationists, and managers from all over the world. 

Listen in to the conversation I have to find out how this global partnership works while people are located around the world. 

Try the Bleaching tool on Allen Coral Atlas:
https://allencoralatlas.org/

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Direct download: SUFB_S1160_DrGregAsnerCoralReefEpisode.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

A recent study found that using Amoxycillin can help with curing lesions on stony corals; however, it does not yet cure the coral from getting lesions again. More research on the dosage will need to be done to find the right application.

Link to Article: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/antibiotic-amoxicillin-successfully-treats-disease-infected-coral/

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Direct download: SUFB_S1152_CoralReefInFloridaHelpedUUsingHumanMedicine.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The key to protecting coral reefs or any ocean habitat is effective management, but you can't have effective management without good data that cover large areas. Oftentimes, your funding or the technology, or both will limit the monitoring program you need to develop the management strategy that you need to protect the Ocean.

Coral habitats are no different. There are many threats against corals and management will be key to their protection; however, the technology that is needed to determine the health of coral reefs is either non-existent or super expensive...until now. Arizona State University's Asner Lab used a  new imaging technology that was able to determine between live and dead corals during a monitoring program that covered the eight major Hawaiian islands.

A regular program to detect live and dead coral can help managers pinpoint areas that are in need of management compared to others that are doing better (higher percentage of coral cover). 

The big question is can we fund this program long-term.

Link to article: https://news.mongabay.com/2021/01/a-hi-tech-eye-in-the-sky-lays-bare-hawai%ca%bbis-living-coral-reefs/

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Direct download: SUFB_S1107_NewCoralReefMappingInHawaiiCanLeadTowardsBetterManagement.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

An underwater Seamount (Mountain) that is 1.5 times the size of the Eiffel Tower was discovered within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Seamount is teeming with life in the form of vast coral reef systems that sustain a diverse population of underwater life such as gorgonians, cuttlefish, and large sharks to name a few. The discovery boosts the diversity and health of the Great Barrier Marine Park that has had a tough time over the past few years.

Climate change has caused sea surface temperatures to rise in the area to a point where 93% of the corals bleached a few years ago. The increase in the number of days where the air temperature was above 40C helped increase the water temperature, which causes the corals to bleach.

Corals have phytoplankton called zooxanthellae that live inside the coral skeleton and undergo photosynthesis to survive while their byproducts (O2 and Ca+ ions) help build the corals calcium skeleton. The zooxanthellae can only handle a certain amount of heat and will leave the coral if the temperature is too hot. Once the phytoplankton leaves, the coral loses its colour that causes it to bleach. If the zooxanthellae don't return or repopulate, then the coral animal will eventually die.

The corals on the newly discovered Seamount are in good health and have not been affected by the warmer sea surface temperature as the Seamount reaches its summit at 40 metres in depth (over 100 feet), where it doesn't rely on the sun to survive. 

The corals are probably also in good health because they fall within the boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where it has been protected for the past number of decades. 

Do you think this reef will continue to be protected because it falls within the Marine Protected Area boundary?

Link to Article: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/10/a-mountain-of-a-reef-taller-than-the-eiffel-tower-found-on-great-barrier-reef/

Register for the Mindful Conservation Conference: 
https://www.absolutelysmashingllc.com/mindful-conference

Want To Talk Oceans? Join the Speak Up For Blue Facebook Group: http://www.speakupforblue.com/group.

Speak Up For Blue Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/speakupforblue/

Speak Up For Blue Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpeakUpforBlue

Check out the Shows on the Speak Up For Blue Network:

Marine Conservation Happy Hour
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k4ZB3x
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2kkEElk

Madame Curiosity
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2xUlSax
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2V38QQ1

ConCiencia Azul:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k6XPio
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k4ZMMf

Dugongs & Seadragons:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lB9Blv
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2lV6THt

Environmental Studies & Sciences
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lx86oh
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2lG8LUh

Marine Mammal Science:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k5pTCI
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k1YyRL

Projects For Wildlife Podcast:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2Oc17gy
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/37rinWz

Ocean Science Radio
Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/3chJMfA
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3bnkP18

The Guide To Mindful Conservation: Dancing In Pink Hiking Boots:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/31P4UY6
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3f7hDJw


Coral Reefs have gone through some big changes over the past 50-60 years and Scientists are worried that today's generation of scientists will have a different perception of what a coral reef will looks like, which will be different from the past. 

A group of scientists decided to ask a number of coral reef scientists that work in and around the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to see if Shifting Baseline Syndrome existed in the area.

Link To Article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-020-0526-0

How do you think we can make sure Shifting Baseline Syndrome did not exist in Marine Conservation? Share your thoughts in the Speak Up For Blue Facebook Group: http://www.speakupforblue.com/group.

Speak Up For Blue Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/speakupforblue/

Speak Up For Blue Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpeakUpforBlue

Check out the Shows on the Speak Up For Blue Network:

Marine Conservation Happy Hour
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k4ZB3x
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2kkEElk

Madame Curiosity
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2xUlSax
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2V38QQ1

ConCiencia Azul:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k6XPio
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k4ZMMf

Dugongs & Seadragons:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lB9Blv
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2lV6THt

Environmental Studies & Sciences
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lx86oh
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2lG8LUh

Marine Mammal Science:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k5pTCI
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k1YyRL

Projects For Wildlife Podcast:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2Oc17gy
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/37rinWz

Ocean Science Radio
Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/3chJMfA
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3bnkP18

The Guide To Mindful Conservation: Dancing In Pink Hiking Boots:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/31P4UY6
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3f7hDJw

Direct download: SUFB_S1039_ShiftingCoralReefBaselines.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Another Throwback Wednesday is upon us. The 5th episode of the Speak Up For The Ocean Blue Podcast was with Dr. Ellen Prager. She has pretty much accomplished everything of which most Marine Biologists can only dream. She's lectured, she's been the Executive Director of an Institute, she's authored papers, and she's authored novels for tweens. 

I was very happy to interview Ellen on all of her accomplishments, but I was super excited for her to talk about how coral reefs can benefit Human Health.

Check out the latest of Ellen's accomplishments at her website: http://ellenprager.com/

What other benefits do Coral Reefs provide? Share your answers in the Speak Up For  Blue Facebook Group: http://www.speakupforblue.com/group.

Check out the new Speak Up For The Ocean Blue Podcast App: http://www.speakupforblue.com/app.

Speak Up For Blue Instagram

Speak Up For Blue Twitter

Check out the Shows on the Speak Up For Blue Network:

Marine Conservation Happy Hour
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k4ZB3x
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2kkEElk

ConCiencia Azul:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k6XPio
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k4ZMMf

Dugongs & Seadragons:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lB9Blv
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2lV6THt

Environmental Studies & Sciences
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lx86oh
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2lG8LUh

Marine Mammal Science:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2k5pTCI
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k1YyRL

Projects For Wildlife Podcast:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2Oc17gy
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/37rinWz

Direct download: SUFB_S963_Throwback_E5_EllenPrager_CoralReefsAffectHumanHealth.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have created a Global Coral Reef map covering 65,000 square kilometers that is available for free to the public.  

The dataset was collected over a 10-year period as researchers traveled to over 1,000 coral reefs in 15 different countries. 

I talk about the amount of work that has to go into creating a dataset that uses satellites and field data during this episode. Take a listen.

Links:

Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine And Atmospheric Science

Project Seagrass

How do you think the map will be used for conservation? Share your thoughts in the Speak Up For Blue Facebook Group: http://www.speakupforblue.com/group.

Want to get started on living for a better Ocean? Sign up for the Grove Collaborative and get a free gift: http://www.speakupforblue.com/goocean.

Check out the new Speak Up For The Ocean Blue Podcast App: http://www.speakupforblue.com/app.

Direct download: SUFB_S766_GlobalCoralReefMapForConservation.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

I spend time talking about one of my favourite habits in the Ocean. Actually, it's probably the favourite habitats of many people...Coral Reefs!!! Of course, we are not talking only about Climate Change, but I cannot do an episode on Coral Reefs where I don't talk about Climate Change. So I mention it. 

Here are the stories that I cover today:
1) Coral Reef Fish create a wonderful chorus of sound where they love to settle;
2) The Movement to open Marine Science and Conservation to developing states and countries; and,
3) Some corals are tolerant to Ocean Acidification

Enjoy the Podcast!!!

I would love to hear your opinion on this episode. Join the Facebook Group to chime in.

Do you know we launched more Ocean Related Podcasts?

Subscribe to Marine Conservation Happy Hour and ConCiencia Azul

 

Direct download: SUFB_S465_CoralReefEcologyPeopleAndAdaptation.mp3
Category:Coral Reef -- posted at: 5:25pm EDT

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