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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Reefs support over 4,000 species of fish and 800 types of coral. They provide a spawning ground for fish. Reefs also act as a shield for nearby islands from storms and hurricanes. Humans are also supported by the reefs because provide food, protection and jobs. Some estimates say that the coral reefs provide about $30 billion USD in services to theworld. The coral reefs also control how much carbon dioxide is in the water and if we get too much, things will die. Without reefs, many jobs and food sources would be lost and the marine ecosystemwould be severely damaged. Why We Need To Protect The Coral Reefs What do they do? Corals that have expelled their zooxanthellae, making them bleached What are they made of? They are held together by calcium carbonate, which is created by corals, small marine invertebrates. Polyps attach to a layer of calcium carbonate. These polyps help form the structure of a coral. What happens if they disappear? The marine ecosystem would eventually collapse. Hundreds of millions of people areinvolved in the fishing industry and would be left without a job. Almost a billion people are facing extreme hunger everyday, and without this source of food, their problem would become worse. Food security would became a bigger problem than it already is. Reefs also protect the beachesof many tropical locations, and without them the beaches could be ruined. The reefs are also a tourist attraction, which helps the economy. Many countries depend on tourism for revenue. Certain types of coral are also used in pharmaceuticalsthat are helping to find a cure to cancer, arthritis and other viruses.
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