How The Reefs Protect Coastal Areas

Recent research has revealed that coral reef systems can naturally shield coastlines from tropical storms by minimizing the force of strong waves.

As a result, scientists now have yet more justification for why everyone should work together to protect coral reefs from extinction.

One of the most precious and diversified ecosystems on Earth is the coral reef.

A recent study demonstrates that these structures may support a range of marine species and can also shield coastlines from tropical cyclones by lowering wave energy.

Coral reefs can serve as a natural barrier against powerful storms, reducing the risk of erosion and the loss of lives and property.

Communities around the seaside are home to millions of people. There, a tropical hurricane might wipe out the entire coastal infrastructure.

Coastal and ocean activities, such as marine transportation of goods, offshore energy drilling, resource extraction, fish cultivation, recreation, and tourism, are essential to the country’s economy and generate 58 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP). Coastal areas are also home to species and habitats that provide numerous benefits to society and natural ecosystems.

The observed change in sea level at a particular site will depend on both local land movement and the rise or fall of the global sea level. Land movement can be brought on by tectonic movement, melting ice, oil and water extraction, subsiding coastal regions, and other factors. The phrases “local” or “relative” sea level apply to both the impacts of land motion and the overall rise in sea level.

The coast’s expanding population and development make coastal ecosystems more susceptible to sea level rise. In reaction to sea level rise, development can prevent wetlands from migrating inland, alter the amount of sediment supplied to coastal areas, and hasten erosion. Coastal Louisiana, for instance, lost almost 2000 square miles of wetlands in recent decades as a result of human modifications to the Mississippi River’s sediment system and land subsidence brought on by oil and water extraction. Due to these modifications, wetlands may no longer serve as natural flood protection since they do not get enough sediment to keep up with the sea’s rising level.