Currently, reef ecosystems are under stress from many sources consisting of increased sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, pollution, over-fishing, seaside use and extreme occasions such as storm damage from storms or typhoons. Loss of coral reefs detrimentally influences seaside economic situations. Island communities whose incomes depend on these reef systems as neighborhood resources are especially susceptible to changes in coral reef ecosystems. The Coral Reef Task Force was developed by Presidential Executive Order in 1998. As a firm in the USDA, NRCS belongs to the U. S Coral Reef Task Force and the Coral Reef Task Force Steering Committee focusing its initiatives on the reduction of land based resources of contamination, including debris and nutrients, in support of the Task Force's mission to protect and enhance coral reef ecosystems. There are greater than 800 recognized types of reef-building coral worldwide and hundreds of species of soft reefs and deep-sea corals. Coral reefs are also living galleries and reflect countless years of history. Many U. S coral reefs were active and thriving centuries back. Some reefs are even older than our old-growth redwood forests. Healthy and balanced coral reefs and their habitats are essential to life in the ocean and on land. The ongoing decline and loss of reef ecosystems will have significant social, cultural, environmental and economic influence on people and communities in the U. S and all over the world. Climate change affects coral reef ecosystems by increasing sea surface temperature levels and results in coral bleaching, disease, sea degree surge and storm activity. Some coral reefs are so large they are even noticeable from outer space! Coral reefs only occupy less than one tenth of one percent of the ocean floor. The National Park Service has ten parks with coral reefs extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. There are numerous varieties of coral found in National Park oceans. National park of American Samoa has over 250 species of coral alone! Some common corals reefs you can expect to locate in national forests are elkhorn coral, staghorn coral, stone coral and brain corals reefs. Each reef is composed of swarms of little animals called polyps. That's why most coral reefs can be found in shallow, clear water along the coast.
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