Coral reefs often go unnoticed because they’re underwater; but even though we don’t regularly pay much attention to them, they’re an extremely important part of our everyday lives. Coral reefs have been estimated to provide support for over a quarter of all marine species and this extreme biodiversity makes them a frequent source of discovery for new medicines that can help fight cancer and other diseases. They also protect our coastlines from storm surges, and provide millions of individuals with a source food and income.
While the mountains of the Northeast may not be the tallest nor the most remote compared to others within North America, they contribute just as much to the natural and cultural value of the surrounding landscape as any other. Stretching from the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York to the Greens of Vermont, Whites of New Hampshire, and all the way up to Katahdin in Maine, the mountains of the Northern Forest are a formidable and irreplaceable feature of the Northeastern landscape.
You could almost blame the greeness of the Chicago River on lack of genetic diversity.
Well, at least, indirectly…
The beauty of a healthy, thriving coral reef community is astonishing. These ‘rainforests of the sea’ are unique and their beauty is unmatched. While coral reefs only occupy less than 1% of the world’s ocean floor, they support more than 25% of all marine species. An estimated 85% of the United States’ reef area is located within the Hawaiian Archipelago that holds the largest marine sanctuary in the world, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
As an isolated island archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands have become home to many endemic species found nowhere else in the world. Hawaiʻi provided a unique place for ecological divergence, leading to the evolution of the islands’ expansive and impressive native avifauna. The forest birds in particular are biologically significant to the complex and fragile forest ecosystems of Hawaiʻi.