Guam is all set to preserve its coral reefs, the key attraction of the island

 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

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coral reefs2018 is being considered as the ‘year of the reef’. Of late, the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association are busy discussing on a top tourist attraction: coral reefs and endorsing eco-friendly tourism.

 
Coral Reefs are alive. From the National Coral Reef Management, Ms. Mallory Morgan is a visiting fellow who has dedicated her entire life behind safeguarding coral reefs. She explains it’s the plants and algae that live inside of coral and keeps them alive in such vibrant red, blue, and purple colors. On Guam there are over 350 species of coral on a reef that is tantamount to 20,000 football fields long.

 
It’s an exceptional biodiversity that many tourists pay to see, as Morgan said, “This is something tourists come here for but beyond the beauty of reefs it’s really important to understand the shoreline protection that reefs provide to our infrastructure protection reefs provide to our hotels, and our beaches.”

 
Of late, she expresses the way in which global warming has injured the coral and caused what is known as “coral bleaching”. She further explained, “What’s happening is since the coral is like animal, just like puppy dogs, just like you and me, they’re getting really stressed out cause it’s really hot they expel the plants the food that gives them color and makes them turn white, that’s what causes the white and that’s why it’s called coral bleaching.”

 
With the local stressors, it’s now a global issue like sediment runoff, overfishing, and recreational damage that keeps the capacity to heighten the loss of Guam’s main tourist attraction, the magnetic coral reef. She emphasizes that preferred tourist activities like kayaks that hit the coral or tourists by chance stepping on the reef while snorkeling can be a reason for damaging coral. She says her main aim on Guam is to work in tandem with the hotel managers and tourists to preserve this natural resource.

 
“My focus is really how can we keep these reefs healthy and keep the tourists coming with social media and Yelp and Instagram the whole world knows exactly what everything looks like right away so it’s really important to keep these reefs healthy,” she said.

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