Plastics and shallow water coral reefs

Plastic pollution is one of the most predominant problems in our oceans. Coastal areas and reef environments are the most affected due mostly to land-based sources. This document’s purpose is to highlight the extent to which these areas are polluted and possible ways to solve this incumbent problem, as well as highlighting the importance of coral reef ecosystems. Recently, Lamb et al. (2018) demonstrated a link between macroplastic pollution and increased likelihood of coral disease, with the likelihood of disease rising from 4% to 89% when corals were in contact with plastics.  

United Nations Environment Program, Sweet, M; Stelfox, M. Lamb, J., (2019), Plastics and shallow water coral reefs. Synthesis of the science for policy-makers. Retrievable at: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/27646/plastic_corals.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Several initiatives aim to restore coral reefs health all around the globe, here we’re presenting two of them which captured our attention:

https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/planting-fragments-hope

https://www.coralgardeners.org/

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