Red Sea Marine Ecosystems Project
The Red Sea has a number of unique marine habitats, including sea grass beds, salt-pans, mangroves, coral reefs and salt-marshes. The Red Sea Project aims to protect the Red Sea's natural resources from destruction and to maintain respect for the ecological, geomorphologic, sacred or aesthetic attributes which warrants designation. The Red Sea Marine Ecosystems Project focuses on the main marine resources; Mangrove, Coral Reefs and Sea-Grass Meadows.
Mangroves are the most important part of the coastal habitat, which occur in patches along the intertidal zone. Mangroves play a vital role in the health of the marine ecosystem, because they filter and block sediments from the unstable substrates of the wadi and desert, and preventing siltation of seagrass beds and coral reefs. One of the most important roles of mangroves is to increase oxygen into the marine environment. They also eliminate pollutants such as sewage waste, pesticide run-off, and toxins in waste dumped in the wetlands.
Sea-Grass Meadows are vitally important coastal habitats that are more productive than agricultural land and they are closely linked to coral reefs. They stabilize sediments, trap nutrients for recycling, and serve as a nursery for many species of crustaceans and fishes. Turtles, sea cows, mollusces and fishes feed directly on seagrass.
Coral reefs are perhaps Red Sea’s most distinct and sensitive habitat, by far supporting the greatest biodiversity in the area. The Red Sea has some of the most attractive, intact, well developed and biologically diverse coral assemblages in the world. Although many reef areas in the Red Sea are still in a pristine state, threats are increasing rapidly and reefs are being damaged by coastal development and other human activities
The goals of Red Sea Marine Ecosystems Project are:
• To introduce you to the Ecosystem Concept. Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems and their functions. And to further learn more about the main marine ecosystems of the Red Sea, their functions and habitats.
• To raise awareness about the ecological roles and main threats to marine ecosystems.
• To recognize the importance of protection and conservation of the marine natural resources and provide an opportunity to participate in conservation and citizen science programs.