Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard coral, and thousands of other species. Scientists estimate that there may be another one to eight million other undiscovered species. This Web page provides links to essays and information about coral reef ecosystems.
Features: Data Sources
Healthy coral reefs support a thriving tourism industry. Every year, millions of scuba divers, snorkelers, and fishermen visit U.S. coral reefs to enjoy their abundant sea life. The information here and in the links on this page show the importance of healthy coral reefs.
Features: Graphics/Multimedia, Data Sources
Some coral reef organisms produce powerful chemicals to fend off attackers. Scientists continue to research the medicinal potential of these chemicals. Learn what scientists are finding in coral reefs that benefit human health.
The coral reef structure buffers shorelines against waves, storms and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion.
Features: Graphics/Multimedia, Assessment, Data Sources, Career Info
This Web page provides information on more than a dozen potential uses for compounds from corals.
Coral reefs have important ecosystem functions that provide crucial goods and services to hundreds of millions of people, mostly in developing countries. Discover the economic value of healthy reefs and the analysis of loss from damaging activities.