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Reefs at risk

June 2, 2010

Zalul began as an organization to save the coral reefs of the Red Sea so, naturally, anytime we hear about reefs at risk around the world our ears perk up. Less than a year ago, a deep underwater colony of corals and surrounding sea life was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. In the wake of the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, marine biologists are worried about the effect this will have on the precious underwater world.

The oil slicks will not simply remain on the surface of the Gulf’s water, but rather it will dissolve in small bits deep into the ocean. Scientists have not yet explored the deep water effects, however, they are certain that bits of the oil have touched the ocean floor. If it does come into contact with the coral, it will essentially suffocate these precious and lively deep sea coral. As a result, the entire ecosystem will slowly deteriorate, darkening the bright underwater community.

We at Zalul are constantly monitoring the restoration of our own coral reefs down in Eilat. Since 1999 we have successfully worked to remove the damaging fish cages from the Red Sea, giving the reefs some room to grow. The coral reefs have been almost entirely restored, and we are always ensuring that they remain protected. As the planet’s northernmost reefs, those in the Red Sea represent important global significance as well. If a similar incident to that of the BP oil spill were to occur in the Red Sea, our precious underwater world would be in great and immediate danger. Israel unfortunately lacks the infrastructure to maintain and clean a spill such as this.

As this all unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, we at Zalul hope that the delicate coral reefs can be salvaged, as we understand the importance of a clean and healthy underwater world. Please read more about this incident and its implications here.

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