Importance of Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are important for many reasons. Most importantly, they provide protection and shelter for many different species of fish. Without coral reefs, these fish are left homeless with nowhere to live and no where to have their babies.
Not only do these fish increase the diversity of our world, but also reef fish and mollusks feed between 30 and 40 million people every year. They also make beautiful pets and the money made by catching and selling these animals provides many people with an income so that they can feed their families.
And coral are very important in controlling how much carbon dioxide is in the ocean water. You read earlier about how the coral polyp turns carbon dioxide in the water into a limestone shell. Without coral, the amount of carbon dioxide in the water would rise dramatically and that would affect all living things on Earth.
In addition, coral reefs are very important because they protect coasts from strong currents and waves by slowing down the water before it gets to the shore. That is why they are called barrier reefs. They provide a barrier between the ocean and the shore.