www.whyville.net Aug 22, 2010 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Why We Should Save the Reef

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Hands down, coral reefs are possibly our greatest natural treasure. Even if we are not necessarily aware it, we are constantly benefiting from reefs. Reefs provide food to us. They also shelter the shoreline from the harshest of ocean waves. They help sustain the ocean ecosystem, regulate the water pH balance, and scientists have even begun researching the possibly of medical treatments developed from reef organisms. Reefs feed us, protect us, and are there for all to learn about and enjoy.

So why would we ever neglect such a resource?

It is undoubtedly a question of priorities. We put off helping the reef because we enjoy creature comforts at the expense of the environment. As our carbon footprint grows, the rising temperatures cause helpful xooxanthelle algae to abandon their symbiotic coral partners. This causes coral "bleaching", where coral lose their color and eventually die without the xooxthanthelle. And coral dying off irreparably messes up the ecosystem. Algae and small plant-eater populations will boom, while predator populations take a steep nosedive.

And Whyville's North Reef is falling to prey to this catastrophe.

Knowing this, we must reassess our priorities. We have a duty to the earth that we must fulfill.

So let us throw ourselves into the effort! There are many ways you can support the effort. You can construct a reef management plan that will help Whyville decide what actions to take to save the reef. You can donate directly to the cause and receive a Save the Reef pin, or buy Save the Reef face parts in the knowledge that the proceedings will help the reef!

But most importantly, spread the word! This is essential. Only when everybody resolves to work on the saving the earth will we be safe in the knowledge that we will have a beautiful environment to enjoy for years to come.

So let's go save the reef!


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