18 Aug '11, 2pm

Human excrement is killing all your coral:

You know how when you go snorkeling, the guide tells you not to touch, breathe on, or even think about getting anywhere near the coral because it's really sensitive and also a great marine resource? Well, it's all true, but on a macro level, humans haven't been paying attention to those instructions and instead have been spraying the coral down with water contaminated with our waste . So basically we have been POOPING ON THE CORAL, which is kind of the opposite of not touching it. And human waste infects coral with something called white pox disease, which causes lesions and has led to a 90 percent decline in elkhorn coral, a key player in reef building. Scientists knew for a while that a particular bacteria was responsible for the disease, but that bacteria is found not only in human intestines but those of other animals, too. Each strain of the bacteria has a particular ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-08-18-human-excrement-is-k...

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