27 Apr 2022


Tampa and Cuba Working Together to Save the Ocean

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Coral reefs are an important aspect of the aquarium ecosystem. They serve two critical functions in the marine ecosystem. Firstly, they reduce the strength of the waves that slam other living organisms within the sea and at the show and ensure the survival of these organisms in a turbulent aquarium ecosystem (Guzzo, 2016). Secondly, the coral reefs serve as a habitat for millions of living organisms within the sea. Therefore, the importance of the coral reefs in the aquarium ecosystem cannot be overemphasized. However, the life of the coral reef has been at threat in the recent past (Tkachenko, 2017). The total coverage of coral reefs on the total sea floor has drastically reduced in the recent past. The protection of coral reefs within the aquarium ecosystem requires an understanding how the coral reefs are formed and the specific threats to their existence. Normally, the coral reefs release both sperms and eggs into the seawater forming a pool of white looking concoction that floats on water. Over time, the fertilizations and subsequent growth result into coral reefs. Despite the critical role that coral reefs play in the sea ecosystem, their size and number have continued to decrease. There is a need for further research on the factors that lead to this decline (Guzzo, 2016). 

A study carried out by the international Coral Reef Initiative indicated that half of the coral reef that was in existence in 1970 has since died off. This trend is worrying and may threaten the existence of coral reef in the future if it goes unchecked. Tampa's aquarium has been at the forefront in finding ways of breeding coral reefs in the sea in order to ensure sustainability of the coral reefs over a long period (Boccio, 1999). In order to mitigate the fast reduction of Coral reef in the sea, the Tampa’s aquarium is now breeding staghorn coral a breed that has been found to be fast growing. This effort and the fact that staghorn coral is a fast growing breed is a foreseeable solution that Tampa's aquarium has developed in order to mitigate the rising shortage of an important aspect of the aquarium ecosystem. Preliminary research on the decline of Coral reefs carried out in Cuba has attributed this decline to the increased pollution of water by the release of fertilizers into seawater. Moreover, the recent development of the construction industry has led to tall buildings. This blocks light from penetrating the coral reefs and hence hinders the development of coral reefs (Tkachenko, 2017). 

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The most compelling knowledge presented in this article is how human activities are collectively contributing to the death of coral reefs. Human activities such as the use of fertilizers and constructions have a large bearing on the growth or the detriment of the growth of such coral reef (Guzzo, 2017). Restoring the growth of coral reefs will require that such human activities be well regulated. For a long time, environmentalists have advocated for the controlled use of fertilizers on farms and the prevention of such fertilizers from spreading into the sea (Krieger & Chadwick, 2013). They have argued that such spread is detrimental to the aquarium life. What is often missing in this argument is the role of such fertilizers in the life of coral reefs. 

The implication of this research has largely been in the implementation of the findings of the research. Many environmental regulatory authorities have moved in to control the human activities that affect the growth of coral reef. Further research is required to find out how fertilizer disposal can be prevented from entering the ocean.


Krieger, J., & Chadwick, N. (2013). Recreational diving impacts and the use of pre-dive briefings as a management strategy on Florida coral reefs. Journal of Coastal Conservation (Springer Science & Business Media B.V.), 17(1), 179-189. doi:10.1007/s11852-012-0229-9

Boccio, R. (1999, November 30). Reef's Rocky Future. LINCCWeb Catalog Search . Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://infoweb.newsbank.com.db24.linccweb.org/resources/doc/nb/news/0EB518228E57D1FD?p=AWNB

Guzzo, Paul. (2016, November 3). Tampa and Cuba, once Cold War enemies, now work together to save the ocean. Tampa Bay Times . Retrieved March 25, 2017, from http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/water/tampa-and-cuba-once-cold-war-enemies-now-work-together-to-save-the-ocean/2301093  

Guzzo, P. (2017, January 2). The Florida Aquarium and National Aquarium of Cuba are working on a coral greenhouse and nursery in Cuba. LINCCWeb Catalog Search . Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://infoweb.newsbank.com.db24.linccweb.org/resources/doc/nb/news/161AA2D4ECE0FF98?p=AWNB  

Tkachenko, K. S. (2017, March 12). Coral reefs in the face of ecological threats of the 21st century. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S2079086416050091

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Tampa and Cuba Working Together to Save the Ocean.


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