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Associated Press
In this Oct. 18, 2011 released by the Puntacana Ecological Foundation, a healthy coral grows in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  The tropical islands' reefs protect fragile coastlines by absorbing energy from waves during hurricanes and normal conditions.  In the face of decline of coral reefs, some coral specialists and conservationists say passive inaction would be a grave mistake.  (AP Photo/Puntacana Ecological Foundation, Victor Manuel Galvan)

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