Diverse and beautiful, coral reefs have been in the ocean for almost 500 million years. They only make up one-tenth of one percent of the ocean floor, yet up to 25 percent of marine creatures rely on coral reefs for survival. They form the basis of the ocean food chain in ecosystems where they are found and also provide important structure for other organisms. Coral reef ecosystems are threatened by a variety of human-induced impacts like warming seas and ocean acidification.
Explore videos from NOAA Ocean Today that look at the importance of coral reefs, the pressures they are facing, and what can be done to help them survive.