People benefit greatly from Florida’s Coral Reef, often without realizing it. South Florida enjoys the coral sand beaches and delicious seafood and benefits from the reef’s ability to slow wave action during storms.
Coral reefs are incredible natural resources that support the economy while providing opportunities for recreation, education, scientific research and public inspiration. The fish we catch rely on coral reef structures where they can breed and grow. Medicines that treat cancer, pain and inflammation have been derived from coral reef organisms.
The total tourism value of Florida’s Coral Reef is estimated at $1.1 billion annually. Coral reefs are estimated to annually support 71,000 jobs in South Florida.
Healthy and resilient coral reefs safeguard against extreme weather, shoreline erosion and coastal flooding. Florida’s Coral Reef provides more than $650 million in flood protection benefits and economic activity protection.
Coral reefs benefit people in many ways. Globally, approximately:
- 400 million people rely on coral reef fish as a source of food.
- $35 billion is generated annually by coral reef tourism activities like scuba diving and snorkeling. Reefs reduce wave energy by 97%, helping protect 197 million people in coastal areas from beach erosion, wave energy and flooding.