My second target audience group was general Vermont citizens, maybe those who can be reached through social media such as facebook. I wrote a newspaper submissions about coral reefs.
Saving Our Underwater Rainforests
Anybody with an environmentally conscious mindset cringes at the destruction of our tropical rainforests. However, there are other places with just as much mind bogglingly biodiversity, beauty, and human benefits that need our attention as well; coral reefs. Similar to the rainforest, reefs fall victim to selfish human activities; careless tourism and fishing, pollution and bleaching. Bleaching occurs due to ocean acidification from excessive carbon emissions. Acidification destroys the symbiotic relationship between coral and algae as the algae begins releasing toxic amounts of oxygen, forcing to coral to expel it. The coral becomes sick, loosing not only its color, but its source of photosynthesis. About one fifth of all reefs have already been severely damaged or destroyed. Like our disappearing rainforests, coral reefs contain such biodiversity that we may never know what we have already lost. The great barrier reef contains over 5,000 species of mollusks, 1,800 types of fish, and 125 varieties of sharks. Preserving these diverse ecosystems is key in restoring a healthy planet. Reefs provide huge boosts to the human economy and health through tourism, fishing, and medical research. While practices such coral reef restoration have been somewhat successful, they are financially costly and timely. Greatly curving our own carbon emissions, installing strict regulations around human use of reefs and educating others about the situation is virtually the only way we can ensure that our great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy our underwater rainforests too.
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