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The "Earth Focus" episode "Vanishing Coral" uncovers the devastating effects of coral bleaching and what people around the world are doing to protect coral reefs.
One of the most diverse and complex ecosystems on the planet, coral reefs provide livelihoods, food and important shoreline protection in many regions. Though they make up less than 1 percent of the oceans, reefs are home to 25 percent of all fish and other marine life. Today ocean temperatures are rising dangerously, causing bleaching of two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Scientists warn that all coral in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean could disappear in the next 20 years.
“Vanishing Coral” presents the personal story of scientists and naturalists who are working with local communities to protect coral reefs that are being destroyed by warming seas, pollution, and destructive fishing practices. Featured are Abigail Alling, president of the Biosphere Foundation; marine biologist and coral expert Phil Dustan; Mark Van Thillo, Captain of the research sailing vessel Mir; as well as Nono Suparno and Ketut Sutama, leading conservationists in Bali, Indonesia.