WITH MORE SPECIES PER SQUARE YARD than the most robust tropical rain forests, coral reefs take up less than 1 percent of ocean floor but support more than 25 percent of marine life. They are the nurseries of the ocean, and without them, the entire marine ecosystem would collapse. In addition to their importance to the environment, the global financial value of coral reefs is $9.9 trillion. They provide services through tourism and recreation, coastal protection, fisheries, and biodiversity valued at $29.8 billion. Coral reefs are essential to the economies and livelihoods of ninety-four countries. In particular, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, when healthy, is responsible for an estimated 53,800 full-time jobs.