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E. Why the Protection of Coral Reefs is Important
trong>Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California , San Diego 's Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been studying the demise of coral reefs and found that bacteria and algae are combining to kill coral. Marine ecologist, Stuart Sandin, says they discovered an indirect microbial mechanism in which bacteria kill coral with the help of algae and since human activities are contributing to the growth of algae on coral reefs, Sandin says awareness is important to prevent a long-term continued decline.

Sandin: The reefs provide us a lot of different benefits. Coral reefs are for a lot of tropical countries, which frequently are less wealthy nations, provide a huge amount of protein via fishing.

Narrator: Aside from their aesthetic beauty, coral reefs also serve as a physical land break.

Sandin: Most recently during the tsunami that hit Indonesia , there were areas that had coral reefs in front of them were protected and didn't suffer as much damage. With the climate changing the way it is right now, it's certainly nice to have any sort of buffer from these increased frequency big weather events that are happening.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.