An important discovery this month could significantly change the current state of coral reefs in the world. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered a vast array of coral reefs stretching almost the entire length of Delaware, lying in deep water 160 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. The huge reefs, located half a mile below the sea surface, were first discovered by sonar mapping.
It is a big deal for scientists who believe that the discovery could only be the beginning of the discovery of new coral reefs. According to WWF Global, the world has already lost 27 percent of our coral reefs. If nothing changes, an estimated 60 percent of the world's reefs will be destroyed over the next 30 years
"This result is changing where we thought coral might exist off the East Coast," said Erik Cordes, a professor of biology at Temple University Chief Scientist of the expedition, the Washington Post said. "This discovery is already changing our coral forecasting models, and this will undoubtedly lead to new discoveries in the region as soon as we can digest all the information, which will take months to years."
The discovery of this 85-mile deep-water reef was all in the project DEEP SEARCH, a five-year project that aims to "explore the deep-sea off the coast of Virginia, Northern and Central Europe." South Carolina and Georgia, "the post hopes the project will ultimately provide the great variety of habitats
During a dive on August 23, Cordes and her research colleague Cathy McFadden had no idea they were going to expose such a huge reef after nearly eight hours underwater in a human-powered vehicle called the HOV Alvin "they had a sample basket with various coral species, including Lophelia, Enallopsammia, Madrepora and Octocorals," explains the mission log of the DEEP SEARCH expedition.
Below is a video showing a timelapse of the coral reef discovery:
According to the entry in the journal entry, "As Lophelia grows and dies over time, new Lophelia grows on the old skeletons, forming continuous reef structures We were able to expand much further than we ever imagined on the East Coast of the United States. "
The protocol concluded by stating that the discovery of this Lophelia reef had many members of the DEEP SEARCH team for months and even years could deal with.
How exciting is that for a perspective? The reefs of our world may not be so lost after all!