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Coral Reefs

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SCIENCE
October 7, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Coral reefs have been dying off at alarming rates because of modern human activity, and conservationists struggle to preserve them. Now scientists have found such efforts have a long history. By the beginning of the 15th century, native Hawaiian islanders were engaging in sustainable practices to preserve their reefs — ushering in 400 years of recovery. The research, published Monday in the journal PLoS One, shows that sustainable practices go back a long way and that coral reefs may be better able to regenerate than previously thought.
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SCIENCE
March 8, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Scientists have made a surprising discovery in the waters off the coast of Iraq: a coral reef made up of more than half a dozen species of the marine animals. A team of divers from the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany and the Marine Science Center at the University of Basrah in Iraq captured video footage of the murky waters where the Shatt al-Arab river flows into the northwestern portion of the Persian Gulf. (You can watch the video above.) The river carries sediment -- and frequently oil -- into that portion of the gulf, which is often churned up by strong winds and currents.
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NEWS
January 30, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
After six years of wrangling, Florida officials agreed to protect the fragile coral reefs in the Keys by limiting fishing and diving and keeping big ships miles away. Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles and his cabinet approved a plan barring fishing in 19 critical areas. The plan would also mandate the use of mooring buoys to let boats tie up for diving without causing anchor damage, and the use of channel markers to keep boats away from the coral and fragile sea grass.
SCIENCE
January 25, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
They are gaudy. They are hungry. And they are invading coral reefs and devouring native fish throughout the Caribbean. They are lionfish, and they are multiplying like crazy. Until recently, the battle to save the Carribean's coral reefs from a lionfish explosion seemed hopeless. Lionfish grow quickly and spawn as much as once every three to four days. They are "gape-limited," which means they feast on whatever fits in their mouth, and there is a painful venom in their spikes. At least in the Atlantic, they appear to have no natural predators.
NEWS
June 2, 1991 | RENE PASTOR, REUTERS
Coral reefs, the marine equivalent of tropical rain forests, are being seriously damaged across Southeast Asia and the Pacific and could become underwater deserts, scientists and development workers say. Pollution, mining and runaway tourism are among the main causes of the damage, they say, along with sedimentation produced by the erosion of land that results from indiscriminate logging.
NATIONAL
January 20, 2011 | By Ludmilla Lelis
In the Atlantic Ocean off Florida's coast, at 1,500 feet and deeper, the water is 45 degrees and pitch-black. Yet life thrives there. Scientists are just beginning to explore this vast secret of the deep: extensive coral reefs and the marine creatures that live there because of them. A mission in November explored more than 800 square miles of ocean, from Jacksonville to the Keys, confirming the existence of several deep-water reefs and charting new sites. Like the corals found in shallow, tropical reefs, deep-sea corals help form habitat for crabs, shrimp, fish and other marine life.
NATIONAL
November 27, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
HANALEI, Hawaii - When compiling a list of places that may be described as paradise, Hanalei Bay on the rugged north shore of the island of Kauai surely qualifies. The perfect crescent bay, rimmed by palm trees, emerald cliffs and stretches of white sand, has always had a dreamy kind of appeal. It was on these shores that sailors in the movie "South Pacific" sang of the exotic but unattainable "Bali Ha'i. " The problem is what lies below the surface of the area's shimmering blue waters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The colorful coral reefs guarding the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia have turned white in recent months in what some scientists fear is a new signal of the dangers of global warming. Up to 90% of the coral on the outer slopes of Moorea's barrier reefs have lost their color since March, said French scientist Bernard Salvat, director of the Tropical Biology Center.
NEWS
October 12, 1990 | RUDY ABRAMSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Upsurges in water temperature are primarily responsible for outbreaks of bleaching in the world's coral reefs and may signal global changes from a magnified greenhouse effect, scientists said Thursday. "The first proof of global warming may well come from the bleaching of the fragile and highly sensitive coral reef system," Ernest H.
TRAVEL
October 15, 2006 | Maggie Barnett, Times Staff Writer
EXPLORE Tanzania, including Zanzibar and little-known Chumbe Island, on an 11-night trip that departs Feb. 16. Travelers visit Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Dar es Salaam. They tour old palaces and spice markets in Zanzibar and snorkel and hike on Chumbe Island. The group visits Seacology project sites on Chumbe, including an installation that protects the Chumbe Island Coral Park, a pristine coral reef preserve extending into the Indian Ocean.
NEWS
December 23, 2013 | By Anne Harnagel
The Sierra Club's Angeles Chapter is leading an active adventure -- expect to walk or hike three to five miles a day -- in Israel that includes snorkeling among the coral reefs of the Red Sea, floating in the Dead Sea, bird watching in the Hula Nature Reserve and hiking up Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also included are walking tours of the Old City of Jerusalem, Caesarea and Jaffa, the oldest port town in the world. In Jerusalem, the group will walk and learn about the places that are sacred to all three major religions as well as learn about other unique people in Israel, such as the Bedouin, the Druze and the Bahais.
OPINION
May 6, 2013 | By Chelsea Kahn
In recent years, the Indo-Pacific lionfish - a dramatically striped, finned and armored aquarium fish - has invaded Atlantic and Caribbean coral reefs. It has been spotted off the Southeastern United States, throughout the Caribbean Sea, in the Gulf of Mexico, and it's now eating its way toward South America. What's to blame for this invasion? Most likely aquarium releases beginning in the early 1980s. And once introduced, lionfish took off. The fish has no known predator in the Atlantic.
SCIENCE
January 7, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Weiss
As the tide drops, seawater in Ofu Lagoon gets cut off from the ocean swirling around American Samoa. Under the intense South Pacific sun, these shallow waters can reach 93 degrees -- temperatures that typically would make corals overheated, cause them to bleach bone white and die. Yet the corals in these hot waters seem to be thriving.  A team of researchers at Stanford University has figured out why: These corals leave a set of 60 genes in...
SCIENCE
December 4, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Weiss
After three years of analysis, a team of federal scientists has come up with a list of the greatest threats to the survival of reef-building corals. And it has ranked the proximate threats, weighing into decades of scientific debate over the biggest culprit that's devastating coral reefs around the world. The ranking comes with a proviso, one that raises a topic that most coral reef biologists avoid out of fear of a backlash. “The ultimate factor for each of these proximate threats, excepting natural physical damage and changes in isolation, is growth in human population and consumption of natural resources,” reads the intro to the chart above.
NATIONAL
November 27, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
HANALEI, Hawaii - When compiling a list of places that may be described as paradise, Hanalei Bay on the rugged north shore of the island of Kauai surely qualifies. The perfect crescent bay, rimmed by palm trees, emerald cliffs and stretches of white sand, has always had a dreamy kind of appeal. It was on these shores that sailors in the movie "South Pacific" sang of the exotic but unattainable "Bali Ha'i. " The problem is what lies below the surface of the area's shimmering blue waters.
OPINION
October 9, 2012
Re "A sea change in ocean chemistry," Oct. 7 Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said in a 2009 interview with a Times reporter about climate change: "I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen. " But we will indeed feel the consequences of global warming in our gut. We've become accustomed to the surplus from the seas and an abundance of food in general, so when our preferred food sources succumb to acidification of the oceans, drought and fire on land and loss of farmland from unprecedented flooding, we'll start to sense climate change in our guts.
NEWS
February 14, 1995
Earth's remarkable coral reefs are under attack. Pollution, overfishing and development threaten to destroy this fragile, beautiful system of marine life. Silt from construction and agriculture on coastal lands smothers the reefs. Increasing sea traffic covers the coral with poisonous pollutants. "Dynamite fishers" use explosives to kill or stun fish for an easy catch, blowing up sections of the reefs in the process.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 1987 | United Press International
On a clear, breezeless day in late July, Bill Causey took one of his fleet of 22-foot powerboats out for a routine inspection of the Florida coral reef marine sanctuary he manages. The water was unusually warm. The sight was unexpectedly chilling. "Usually, the coral in the reef is an intense brown, with colorful sea grasses and various algae," Causey recalled recently. "But on that day, I saw entire colonies were light and mottled. Some places were solid white."
NEWS
September 13, 2012 | By Karin Klein
Almost a decade after the Pixar hit "Finding Nemo" made clownfish seem downright warm and fuzzy, environmentalists are now looking for a real-life sequel: Saving Nemo. The Center for Biological Diversity is petitioning the National Marine Fisheries Service to extend the protections of the Endangered Species Act to the clownfish as well as several other coral reef dwellers. Does this mean that Nemo has disappeared? Not exactly. In fact, there's no documented loss of clownfish population.
SCIENCE
July 11, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
It is not clear how big an honor it is, but Jamaican reggae guitarist and singer Bob Marley has had his name attached to a blood-sucking parasite that infests fish living on coral reefs in Jamaica. The naming is not meant to be a sign of disrespect, said marine biologist Paul Sikkel of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, who coined the name Gnathia marleyi to honor Marley. "I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music," Sikkel said.
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