- See also: Oceana Reef National Park for more about tourism and environmental protection.
The Oceana Reef or That Riffe is a coral reef in the Pacific Ocean just south of the Lovian State of Oceana. The reef is protected by the National Park Service and is open for regulated tourism, most notably diving. The Oceana Reef contains rare coral, plants, crabs and fish. Fishing and wildlife removal are strictly forbidden.
The Oceana Reef was discovered in 1974 by Pažkolit Úskalie, a local fisherman. On May 15 of that year he lost his net and went diving to find it again. On a sunken ship he found some coral and a few yards further away from that ship and a bit deeper in the Pacific Ocean he found a beautiful reef. He called it That Riffe, which means The Reef.
Tourism and National Park protection Edit
The Oceana Reef only became a tourist attraction in the 1980s. Due to local newspaper promotion, tourism exploded rapidly. By 2010, the Reef was one of Oceana's top attractions.
Since the beginning of tourism, the Reef has been damaged severely on some places close to the coast. Tourists often dropped trash or removed wildlife from the reefs. The first environmental protests came in the 1990s, calling for less tourism in or near the reef. Eventually, the State of Oceana intervened and enlarged control over tourist activities on its coasts. It has been noted that since the mid-2000s, the coral has been recovering.
In 2010, the National Park Service under Martha Van Ghent (Walden) protected the Reef as Lovia's third National Park. Whereas free diving was still allowed before 2010, the current rangers maintain a more strict protection policy. All diving activities are directly overseen by the National Park authorities.
The reefs contain many rare species. A common coral is Fungia sp., a type of mushroom coral (Fungiidae). Another common coral you can find here is Diploria labyrinthiformis, which is a type of brain coral (Faviidae).
So far, there has been little scientific research in the Reef. Little is known about the many species in the Lovian waters.