The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Plastic Ocean Litter Is Making Coral Reefs Sick

    This is garbage. A study of more than 124,000 corals in 159 reefs found that a third were choked by plastic trash. Worse, the frequency of coral diseases in those reefs increased from 4 percent to 89 percent, partly because plastic is easily colonized by bacteria. It’s another challenge for ecosystems already stressed by rising temperatures and acidifying waters. With an estimated 5 trillion plastic fragments already polluting the seas — and plastic production still accelerating — scientists predict 16 billion pieces could be entangled in Asia-Pacific reefs by 2025.

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