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What are coral reefs?
A coral reef is a strip of coral that rises up to or near the surface of an ocean. Coral is made up of tiny, tubelike animals that join together to form giant reefs.
Where are coral reefs found?
In warm oceans around the world. The largest coral reef in the world is The Great Barrier Reef, which rises off north-eastern Australia. This special place contains more than 2800 coral reefs.
How do corals get their colour?
From the tiny plants that live under the Ďskiní of the corals. When corals get sick, the tiny plants leave and this can change the colour of coral to white.
Do sea creatures need coral reefs?
Yes, very much so. Coral reefs give animals like sharks, turtles and fish a place to live as well as food.
Are humans taking good care of coral reefs for these animals?
No. We are hurting coral reefs by:
Not keeping the oceans clean.
Collecting coral and shells.
Taking fish from the ocean and breaking the coral with fishing nets.
Burning coal and oil, which causes the sea water to become warm. This makes the coral turn white and die.
What can you do to help?
Donít go to coral reefs which can be damaged easily.
If you visit a coral reef, donít take any coral or shells home with you.
If you go for a walk on a beach that has coral, make sure you avoid standing on the coral and breaking it.
Donít buy jewellery made out of coral.
Remind anyone you know who uses a boat not to hurt coral while they are in the ocean.
Coral reefs are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also the homes to many sea creatures. Do your bit to help these sea creatures by looking after our coral reefs.