Worldwide, reefs protect hundreds of millions of people living in coastal communities.

About the Video Clip

Duration: 3 minutes
Grade Level: Appropriate for all ages; content connects to NGSS standards for grades 5 and above

Humanity is connected to our oceans. Half a billion people rely on coral reefs for food and income. But reefs provide more than food. They also provide protection. Healthy reefs protect land from the damaging effects of tropical storms, shielding the shoreline from waves.


Readings: Coral Reef Ecosystem Services

Philippine fisherman

From medicines, to food, to coastal protection, coral reefs provide a plethora of ecosystem services to people.  Read more about these important ecosystem services in the articles below!

From The Nature Conservancy: Coral Reefs, Nature's Medicine Cabinet

From the U.S. Geological Survey: Coral Reefs Provide Critical Coastal Protection

From the WWF: Why Coral Reefs are Important to People


Connections to the Next Generation Science Standards

While this video doesn't necessarily cover the following standards in depth, it is a compelling resource you can use to supplement your curriculum that does.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • MS-ESS-2 How do coral reefs mitigate the effects of coastal flooding, a natural hazard?
  • HS-ESS-1 What evidence do you have for how coral reefs influence human activity? Speak to natural resources, the occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate.
  • HS-ESS2-2 How do Earth’s surface processes and human activities affect each other? How does one change to Earth’s surface create feedback that causes changes to other Earth systems?

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Philippine Coral Reef Webcam

Be dazzled by the brilliant colors of thousands of tropical fish swimming across your screen.