Although many coral reefs are dying around the world, there is a glimmer of hope. Scientists have found five new coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico that are beginning to build, even as other reefs are dying elsewhere in the world.
The new coral reefs are named Corazones, Pantepec South, Piedras Altas, Los Gallos, and Camaronera. These newly discovered reefs are near older reefs that form the Reef Corridor of the Southwest Gulf of Mexico. In total, these new reefs are part of a corridor that stretches at least 310 miles. The biological importance of this corridor cannot be understated.
Coral reefs provide habitat and breeding grounds for many ocean dwelling creatures. The researchers who discovered these reefs are working to protect them before oil and gas companies move into the region.
Leonardo Ortiz Lozano, one of the researchers that discovered the reefs says, “We want the coral corridor to be officially recognized to protect it from the fossil fuel industry. What’s most important is that these sites are where hundreds of fishermen receive their nourishment and work. It’s important to protect these sites, but it’s necessary to maintain the fishing industry.”
Protecting coral reefs around the world is a top priority as many face the threat of demise.