|home/sustainability on coral reefs/reefs & resorts|
Reefs & Resorts
Coastal development can damage nearby coral reefs. Construction debris can smother coral and introduce nutrients which encourage weedy algae to take over the reef. These threats are magnified if mangroves or other ecosystems that trap sediment are removed during development.
One of the first steps in coastal development is preparation of the building site. Vegetation is removed and the land is excavated to provide a suitable base to build on. This creates sediment which, without proper precautions, can wash into streams or rivers and dump onto a nearby reef.
Sediment threatens the coral reef ecosystem in several ways:
Debris smothers the reef
Increased nutrients encourages algal growth
Water clarity is reduced
Removal of vital ecosystems
Worldwide, coral reef tourism generates about US$9.6 billion each year. Tourism is also the greatest source of foreign income for some tropical nations like Fiji and the Maldives. This income is also sustainable - provided the reefs remain healthy.
Ironically, construction of tourist facilities can harm reefs, but with careful planning, tourist facilities can greatly enhance a coral reef experience, and provide income to well protected reef areas.
Tourists can also damage reefs directly through trampling, clumsy SCUBA diving, resuspension of sediment, and overfishing.
Too much disturbance reduces ecosystem diversity and reduces diversity in nearby ecosystems. Construction can create disturbance that damages mangroves or seagrass. Damage to these ecosystems can also harm the health of coral reefs.
CDNN. (2005, August 15). Overdevelopment, pollution threaten billion-dollar Caribbean dive tourism industry. CDNN global news network. Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://www.cdnn.info/news/industry/i050821.html
Kannan, L. & Thangaradjou, T. (2008, January 10). Seagrasses. United Nations University. PDF retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://ocw.unu.edu/international-network-on-water-environment-and-health/unu-inweh-course-1-mangroves/Seagrasses.pdf
Kelley, R. et al. (2006, December 19). Nutrients, catchments and reefs – a guide to nutrients in the tropical landscape. Catchment to Reef Program. PDF retrieved 22 August 2008 from http://www.catchmenttoreef.com.au/Products_files/NCR.pdf
The Coral Reef Alliance. (2005). Coastal development: Planning for a sustainable reef. The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://www.coralreefalliance.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=67
The Nature Conservancy. (2006, November). Coral Triangle Center. The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://www.coraltrianglecenter.org/
Tourism Queensland. (2003, November 10). Dive tourism. Tourism Queensland. PDF retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://www.tq.com.au/fms/tq_corporate/research/fact_sheets/dive_tourism.pdf
Tsui, B. (2007, June 24). Saving Coral Reefs Becomes a Tourism Priority. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/travel/24headsup.html?ref=travel
Wikipedia. (2008, June 28). Economy of Fiji. Wikipedia. Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Fiji
World Resources Staff. (1998). Coral reefs: Assessing the threat. World Resources Institute. Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://earthtrends.wri.org/text/coastal-marine/feature-12.html
World Resources Staff. (2007, October). Economic valuation of coral reefs. World Resources Institute. PDF retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://pdf.wri.org/coral_reefs_methodology-10-2007.pdf
WWF. (2008, February 28). Coastal development problems: Tourism. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 1 August 2008 from http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/what_we_do/marine/problems/tourism/tourism_pressure/index.cfm
|All content property of microdocs project. Last updated April 11, 2012.|