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    Posted December 2, 2010 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    iReport Global Challenge

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    Corals and Reefs


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     EthanD lived in the tiny nation of Palau for nearly ten years. He is older, has a family, and currently lives in the United States but still makes a yearly pilgrimage to visit the beautiful nation. 'It was a fascinating culture to spend a good chunk of my adult life,' said EthanD. 'It was really hard to leave when I did.' EthanD said the small-town feel of the country along with its natural beauty, vibrant sea life and warm, welcoming inhabitants keep driving him back. EthanD said the country’s economy thrives on tourism, but he added that the type of tourists that Palau attracts, mainly scuba divers, snorkelers and kayakers, have allowed the country to thrive economically while maintaining its unique island culture and natural beauty.
    - nhieatt, CNN iReport producer

    The Republic of Palau is a tiny country known for its betel nut, extraordinary scuba diving, sharks, World War II wrecks, and coral reefs.  As climate change proceeds, the reefs surrounding Palau are threatened, primarily from high sea surface temperatures which cause mass bleaching events and coral death.  It will be an interesting case study to watch how a country, which depends on its natural diversity and beauty to attract tourists, will develop as the future unfolds.

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