Coral Microbiome Boosters For Shore Protection, Tourism Revenue, & Biodiversity Protection
Coral Reefs Reduce Storm Damage in Tropical Countries
Shore adjacent coral reefs act as natural barriers in reducing up to 97% of wave force energy, minimizing beach erosion and reducing storm surge damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. But, these shore adjacent shallow reefs are the most susceptible to increased sea surface temperatures. Fortunately, the same coral reefs are also the most accessible to increasing their heat tolerance via microbiome boosters.
The economic value of risk reduction by shore-adjacent coral reefs is highest in built up urban areas where every meter of reef along the shore provides 2,500 USD per year in flood protection from reduced storm surge.
Sea surface temperature rise can act as a double blow to shore adjacent reefs where annual severe bleaching events lead to mortality while providing more energy to storms. Where as a healthy reef can blunt the storm surge damage, the same storm can turn degraded coral reefs into rubble, increasing damage on land while hindering new coral growth.
Unlike artificial barriers, healthy coral reefs can increase in height to keep up with rising ocean levels while also maintaining the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.
Coral Reef Benefits
Reduced Storm Damage
Maintaining Tourism Revenue through Ecostsystem Preservation
Coral reefs are estimated to bring in $36 billion in annual tourism revenue to tropical countries all around the world, anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions per square kilometer. These include direct reef activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling and indirect activities like enjoying the beach, kayaking, paddleboarding, and consuming local seafood.
Entire countries and regions depend on coral reefs as a major driver of their economies like the Maldives, Bonaire, Quintina Roo in Mexico, Queensland in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji among others. Many beach front properties like hotels and resorts rely on their connection to the ocean as a major part of their value proposition to their guests. Microbiome boosters can ensure ocean dependent tourism industries continue to thrive in our ever warming oceans.
25% of all marine life depends on coral reefs in spite of them covering less than .01% of the ocean floor. They are the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, hosting even more biodiversity than the Amazon rain-forest. The combination of habitat complexity, nutrient cycling, warm and shallow waters, mutualistic relationships, adaptations to conditions, high productivity, reproductive strategies, and global connectivity makes coral reefs incredibly diverse and ecologically important ecosystems. Thousands of species of fish, invertebrates, algae, plants, and microorganisms directly and in-directly rely on reefs for everything from breeding to habitation to hunting. Some coral reef dwelling species like parrotfish even directly aid in beach maintenance by producing sand throughout their life times, as much as 2,000 pounds a year.
Various marine organisms found in coral reef environments, including sponges, soft corals, and other invertebrates, have been studied for their potential medicinal applications ranging from cancer, anti-inflammatories, and anti-fungals. Microbiome boosters can ensure these genetic secrets that are yet to be unlocked, can produce life saving medicines for millions of people.
During the microbiome booster development process, Azul Bio uses visual identification, eDNA measurements, and transect surveys to quantify the impact of the coral microbiome booster. These metrics can be used to grant biodiversity credit rights to those that are preserving these ecosystems. As tourists grows more conscious in their impact, there will be an increasing demand on the hospitality industry to show how they help steward their local environments.