Saturday, January 17, 2009

What city dwellers can do to protect coral reef

Protecting coral reef is not only the task of scuba divers but also everyone. The destruction of coral reef is now going on very fast.

The degradation of sea water quality to human activities living in big cities play a significant role. Scuba diving only causes very little destruction to the coral reef compared to the city dweller activities. Every day city dwellers throw plastic and metal garbage to the streets. During the rainy days, they flow to the river and then to the sea. Upon arriving at sea, the garbage covers the sea grass and coral reef which are the place where fish and other sea animals live and feed.


In addition, the rapid growth of population in big cities increases the consumption of food including fish. Marine fishing industry use more modern equipment to catch fish in larger quantity. Often to catch fish at the bottom of the sea, the modern fishing fleet applies the bottom trawling method that causes massive destruction of coral reef.

Other activities from city dwellers that bring more pressure to the coral reef is the construction of housings along the coastal area that creates solid and liquid wastes. These wastes flow or are dumped at sea. As a result coral reef environment located near the coastal housing or tourist centers suffer severe damages and most likely unrecoverable.


To restore the condition of coral reef, campaigns against marine pollution should be done. City dwellers can begin with such activities as beach clean up. These can be organized in cooperation with marine environmentalists or water sport associations in every coastal cities or towns.

The beach clean up can also be expanded into another educational activity which aims at providing information to city dwellers about how important the coral reef is to the environment. This can be done by broadcasting films about sea life on TVs or publishing articles about coral reef and the sea on local news paper.

City dwellers can also be asked to sort their domestic wastes so that they can easily be recycled instead of being end up at sea. Supermarkets and department store can also participate in coral reef awareness campaign by not providing plastic bags to shoppers or by giving discounts to shoppers who prefer to bring their own bags when shopping.

With more participation from city dwellers in coral reef awareness campaigns, we can hope that in the future the condition of coral reef will be better and able to revitalize the marine life again. written by Charles Roring in West Papua, Indonesia

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