Coral reefs? Priceless.

Coral is beautiful. Coral is rare. Coral does its job without any expectation of a big payday.

Recently, an economist looked at the financial benefits that intact coral reefs provide. His study, published in the May issue of Global Environmental Change, considers how coral reefs protect against soil erosion by weakening waves before they reach land, as well as serve as feeding grounds for marine wildlife. The services they provide each year is now valued at $11 trillion worldwide.  —Diane Richard, writer, June 11


Image: Reuters 

Source: Carl Zimmer, “Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Defenses,” The New York Times,June 6