Coral reefs are in precipitous global decline before the eyes of a single generation of biologists. The reason is simple and familiar: a confluence of desperate poverty and demanding affluence, of swelling hunger and rapacious consumption by a mobile, high-tech society. Combined human impacts have corroded the quality of ecological services provided by coral reefs and compromised their capacity to heal after even the normal annoyances of hurricanes and predators. These impacts include climate change, pollution, depressed aragonite saturation levels (due to elevated atmospheric CO

), coral disease, coral mining, the elimination of keystone species called “ecological engineers,” and destructive resource extraction.