How Does Pollution Affect Coral Reefs

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So, if just one part of a reef fails or dies, all of these animals and many more die. Now that you see how many creatures are affected by pollution, let’s get into the pollution itself.
Over ¼ of coral reefs are threatened by onshore activities. There are six main forms of pollution that worry scientists the most. They are:
• Pesticides; many pesticides and fertilizers find their way into our oceans. This may not sound too bad, but they boost the growth rates of the algae, which blocks much needed sunlight, and causes the corals to become diseased. If the pollution continues, the corals will die of lack of sunlight. Pesticide pollution also leads up to coral bleaching.
• Garbage; tons of garbage is dumped into the ocean every day. In fact in some countries, dumping trash into the ocean is their only form of disposing of it. If you went and looked at the ocean floor in some areas, it would look like a wasteland of plastic for miles. This not only affects the coral, but also fish, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and crabs. They get caught in the plastic and are unable to free themselves. Many sea turtles are on the brink of extinction because of deadly plastic nets that we fail to dispose of safely. There are islands in the middle of the ocean made entirely of
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Robbing the coral of life giving nutrients, and causes it to bleach. Research shows that up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen is washed into the coral reefs of the US Virgin Islands and Hawaii alone every year. Oxybenzone is found in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide. These include; Coppertone, L’Oréal, Hawaiian Tropic, and Banana Boat. A new study released in 2016 shows that a single drop of sunscreen in a small area is enough to start damaging, and killing corals. The same study also showed that once the pollutants stopped, the coral recovered in a surprisingly short amount of

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