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02 introduction
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introduction
There are very few places on the earth where man and coral reef live in harmony. Man has always considered the ocean as an infinite resource beyond the scope of our control, after all, it covers seven-tenths of the earth's surface. We are just now understanding the delicate nature of our oceans and to the irreversible damage we have inflicted upon them. Both in developed and undeveloped countries throughout the world the ocean has been treated as a dumping ground for waste products. In the case of the USA and the former USSR we have even gone so far as to dump tons of radioactive material into the sea. Somewhere we have lost our connection forgetting the most obvious, that we depend on healthy oceans for survival. The oceans can no longer hide our dirty secrets and are telling us that we should treat them as if they were the source of our next drink of water. Coral reefs are the most diverse marine eco-systems on the planet and are found only in the tropical zones of the planet. Corals require clean, clear, nutrient free water in which to live. Because corals are stationary animals, they are only as healthy as the water that passes over them. In this sense they become the barometers to the health the sea. Many of the coral reefs in the world are disappearing, victims of disease and deterioration. We must keep in mind that coral reefs have been on the planet for hundreds of millions of years. This report is focused on Elkhorn coral and the restoration attempts by Reef Relief during the period of February 25 to December 1, 1998.
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