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article imageCoral Litters Barbados, High Waves Blamed

By KJ Mullins     Mar 24, 2008 in Environment
A strong Atlantic storm system has produced waves that are breaking up coral in Barbados. Beaches are being littered with coral that could be a sign of reef damage across the region.
Some of the waves reached up to 30 feet from Guyana to the Dominican Republic last week. A large low pressure system idling off the northeastern United States has been blamed.
Some of the chunks of white coral washing a shore in Barbados weighed as much as seven pounds. The coral appeared healthy except for their polyps being rubbed away by the rough surf.
Coral is used by the ocean environment to form reefs. The reefs provide a habitat for thousands of marine creatures but have been dying out in recent years. The rising sea temperatures have caused diseases among the coral as well as coastal pollution and overfishing.
Just north of the U.S. Virgin Islands swells of 15 feet were recorded. It is the highest swells in that area since 1991.
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