Coral reefs must be restored for flood protection


Coral reefs must be restored for flood protection Today’s Video of the Day from the USGS describes the enormous value of coral reefs for coastal flood protection.

The experts report that damage to coral reefs caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused a major increase in flood risk. Across coastal communities in Florida and Puerto Rico, the costs associated with the damage to coral reefs was hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ultimately, the researchers found that coral reef restoration across Florida and Puerto Rico could prevent the loss of more than $270 million annually from flooding. Coral reefs serve as natural, low-crested, submerged breakwaters, which provide flood reduction benefits through wave breaking and wave energy attenuation. These processes are functions of reef depth and secondarily rugosity. Coral reefs must be restored for flood protection as seen above shows The corals are then reattached to reefs piece by piece with cement, zip ties, and nails. More than 20 coral nurseries are active throughout the Caribbean. Each year, they provide more than 40,000 healthy corals for reef restoration throughout the region. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.

Video Credit: USGS

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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