Caribbean Coral Reefs

Apr 19, 2010 (Last modified Feb 3, 2013)
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Examining current and projected threats in a key marine ecoregion.

Coral reefs worldwide are facing a variety of threats. The World Resources Institute (WRI) assessed threats to coral reefs in a number of key marine ecoregions, including the Caribbean. Results from these assessments can be used to develop effective conservation strategies.

Coral reefs are increasingly stressed by natural and anthropogenic forces, including storm surges, changes in sea level, ocean temperature and pH, destructive fishing practices, and careless tourism. With some coral reefs already damaged beyond repair and a large percentage projected to be degraded within the next few decades (>30%), it is essential to quantify threats to coral reefs, draw attention to opportunities, and develop new solutions.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) assessed threats to coral reefs in a number of key marine ecoregions around the world, including the Caribbean, as part of the Reefs at Risk project. As part of these assessments, and to fill some of existing gaps in information, WRI analyzed the influence of watershed- and marine-based pollution, coastal development, destructive fishing practices, and a host of other threats to Caribbean coral reefs. The Caribbean datasets from this project are an important component of the available data on threats to coral reefs worldwide and can be found in Data Basin.

Photo credit: (Flickr)

Recommended by Brendan Ward
Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey. 2010. Caribbean Coral Reefs. In: Data Basin. [First published in Data Basin on Apr 19, 2010; Last Modified on Feb 3, 2013; Retrieved on Aug 7, 2020] <>

About the Author

Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey
Aquatic/Landscape Ecologist with Conservation Biology Institute

Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey is an aquatic/landscape ecologist with more than 15 years of Federal, State, and educational natural resource experience. His experience includes aquatic and terrestrial species habitat survey and inventory, invasive-species monitoring, natural resource impact analyses, public...