Coral reefs are one of Earth’s most productive ecosystems -- both in terms of biology and cold, hard cash. Healthy coral reef ecosystems do everything from supporting millions of jobs to protecting lives and valuable coastal infrastructure, like hotels and roads, from storms and waves. In fact, each year coral reefs pump more than $3.4 billion into the U.S. economy. And that’s a conservative estimate!
Despite all they do for us, our coral reef ecosystems are threatened. Climate change, pollution from the land and harmful fishing practices top the list of threats. Fortunately, it’s not too late to protect these resources.
Check out this NOAA fast-draw video to learn more.
Coral Reef Economy (English)
Coral Reef Economy (Spanish)
Illustrated by Michael Pai, NOAA.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.