Listen to a NOAA scientist discuss a major report of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, a quantitative status report on U.S. coral reef ecosystems. Download the mp3 file.

Coral Report Transcript

Program #4740 of the Earth & Sky Radio Series

with hosts Deborah Byrd and Joel Block

DB: Earth & Sky spoke to Jeannette Waddell of the National Ocean Service. She edited and contributed to a major scientific assessment of coral, released in 2005.

JB: One hundred sixty scientists helped in this first-ever attempt to pull together monitoring data, with the goal of providing a status report on U.S. coral reef ecosystems.

Jeannette Waddell: ...We looked at three basic groupings of data. Water quality parameters, benthic habitat parameters ? and those are basically the sea floor community, the benthos ? and the associated biological communities, which are the fish, all of the invertebrates, and the things that move around within the coral reef ecosystem.

DB: The assessment showed that, while coral reefs have always been fragile, today many are being overwhelmed.

Jeannette Waddell: The big issue here is the resilience of coral reef ecosystems. Coral reefs have always experienced natural stressors such as tropical storms and some degree of sedimentation… But now, because they’re facing so many challenges and so many stressors, the resilience of reefs that allows them to bounce back after some of these threats, they’re just not able to bounce back the way they have in the past….

JB: We have more about coral, including links to the coral report, at Special thanks today to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We’re Block and Byrd for Earth and Sky.

Audio file courtesy of the Earth & Sky Radio Series.