Nancy Knowlton, Jeremy Jackson, Beyond the Obituaries, The Solutions Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 1 ( Abstract: We met in 1974 on the north coast of Jamaica, in Discovery Bay, then one of the great pioneer centers of coral reef science. At the time, many of us blithely took the reefs for granted. They were already largely fishless, which we noted, but luxuriant living corals carpeted the reefs built up by their ancestors over thousands of years. We had no inkling of a time when the corals themselves might be on the brink of disappearing. But that time was soon to come. First Hurricane Allen in 1980 pulverized the once-dominant acroporid corals, the iconic elkhorn and staghorn corals of the Caribbean; we dutifully tagged the survivors, but they failed to recover. Then, starting in 1983, much more widespread catastrophes affected the entire sea basin: the loss of the herbivorous sea urchin Diadema and the consequent rise of coral-smothering algae; coral bleaching; then coral disease. For a while, we assumed that this was, globally speaking, a local catastrophe, but marine scientists came to … Topics: Conservation