|Exhibition:||Oceans & Currents|
|Art Height:||4.25" (10.8 cm)|
|Art Width:||8.75" (22.23 cm)|
|Frame Height:||10.0" (25.4 cm)|
|Frame Width:||14.5" (36.83 cm)|
|Medium:||Gouache, watercolour, and pencil on hot press arches|
Corals prefer warm, clear, shallow water, and these reefs are found throughout the tropics. Different species of corals live in different ocean basins, so reefs in the tropical western Atlantic Ocean can look different than reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, scientists have different names for coral reefs based on the way in which they grow: fringing reefs are those directly attached to the shore; barrier reefs are separated from shore by a lagoon; patch reefs are small reefs that occur throughout a lagoon but do not form part of the barrier reef; and atolls are circular reefs surrounding a lagoon that no longer includes a central island.
In addition to being home to countless marine animals, coral reefs are very important ecosystems for coastal peoples. They are often the first line of defense against strong tropical storms for coastal communities, and at least 400 million people rely on coral reef fisheries for income and food. Furthermore, high value tourism in many places relies on healthy, intact coral reefs to attract visitors to remote parts of the world. These services, and others, combine to make coral reefs extremely valuable to nearby communities. Unfortunately, coral reefs face numerous threats to their continued survival. Destructive fishing practices, pollution, and invasive species threaten local coral reefs in populated areas. Climate change and ocean acidification threaten all coral reefs around the world. Without careful management of human activities and an active reversal of global threats, entire coral reefs may be lost. That loss would risk the million species and hundreds of millions of people that rely on coral reefs’ existence for their survival.