Source: The Ocean Portal 
October 13, 2010
|Photo by Jeff Yonover / Indonesia|
For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef, you know that it's an experience you are unlikely to forget.
Coral reefs are among the world's most magnificent ecosystems. Their beauty alone makes them incalculably valuable, but beyond aesthetics, their importance to both marine life and humans is immense.
Though they cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs support an estimated 25 percent of all marine life. They generate billions of dollars and millions of jobs in more than 100 countries around the world, and provide an important local food source and storm protection for nearby communities. Moreover, coral reef species provide researchers with unique chemical compounds that are being used to develop life-saving medicines.
To read the full text of the article, click here .