9 fun facts about coral reefs

Fact 1

There are three types of reefs, and one often gets mistaken for an island. Barrier reefs, fringing reefs and atolls. An atoll is often called an island when it is really a reef.

Fact 2

Any reef that is called a “barrier” reef gets its name because it protects the shallow waters along the shore from the open sea. That protection promotes the survival of many types of sea plant and animal life.

Fact 3

A coral reef isn’t one ‘thing’, it’s actually a community of life that lives and thrives in one location.

Fact 4

Reefs are very important to the fishing industry because they are the natural habitat of the bait fish which is used to fish for tuna and other large species.

Fact 5

Reefs are where many fish and sea creatures choose to spawn. The protected environment of the reef means their eggs will be safe from predators.

Fact 6

Because a coral reef can stabilize the seabed for seagrasses to thrive, it provides a space for feeding and raising babies for many sea mammals including dugongs.

Fact 7

Scientists have discovered that many parts of a coral reef can be harvested to make medications to treat cancers and other illnesses.

Fact 8

Coral reefs help to improve the surrounding water quality. They act as a filter that traps things floating in the water, which makes for cleaner water all around.

Fact 9

Reefs grow where there are stronger wave patterns and currents. The stronger currents and waves deliver more food for the ecosystem that creates the reef structure.

Credit: Conserve Energy Future