Coral reefs provide several ecosystems services. And we say ecosystems services we mean what does that do for us, as people? So the big one, for coastal communities is shore line protection.
The reef can only protect the shore line if it's alive. If it's dead it's just a bunch of brittle, rocks and skeleton that will get beaten and batted away by the storms. So it has to be alive to provide that shore line protection.
The other main thing that reefs do for us is provide so much protein, so much food, they provide a home for so many organisms. I mean literally hundreds of them. In the Caribean just a few we like are the lobster that many likes to eat, and many reef fishes so we in the Caribean and other coastal communities around the world people do rely on the reefs for sustainance for protein. So that's key.
The third one, which is often overlooked, and that is for aesthetic purposes, just for the sake of natural wild beauty.
(everything we get from these systems passes through the corals at some stage)
we cannot live anymore converting the biosphere to a humansphere