When it comes to biodiversity, coral reefs are superstars of the ocean. They are built inch by inch by coral polyps over thousands of years into spectacular structures. Although they account for less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, they provide a home for 37% of the world’s known fish species and absorb 97% of coastal wave energy, preventing billions of dollars in storm damage each year. Reefs are also vitally important for people. The well-being and livelihoods of more than 1 billion people worldwide are tied to the ecosystem services that coral reefs provide.

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