The news has been taken by storm with a report that Great Barrier Reef’s health rating has been downgraded from “Moderate” to “Poor”. Federal Environment Minister, Mark Butler acknowledges, “There is still a great deal of work to do.”
Nick Heath, from WWF Australia said the report shows 72 percent of the Reef’s coral has died since the 1960s – and 50% of that has occurred since 1985.
The cause of the health downgrade has been cited as extreme weather, farm and industrial chemical pollution and the changes in the natural order they create. Note: These are all human related causes.
“The outlook for the Reef is not good but the situation isn’t hopeless – solutions do exist,” Heath said.
“We just need more investment, more targeted action in the most dangerous pollution hot spots.”
Our Founder, Nat’s journey with the Reef is one many of us can relate with:
“When I was about 14, my brother Ross discovered diving. He would head out to The Great Barrier Reef, taking these amazing photos. We would do family slide shows where we would sit and take in these magnificent images. I was overwhelmed by the colours of the coral, of the fish and the glorious delight of under the sea.
I went to the Reef myself for the first time last year with Murray (husband) and the kids (Bronte, Jacob, Shea and Isaac). We went for three dives. The first two were disappointing and stark – though the third was beautiful, it was still nothing like the memory I had from those photos years before.”
• Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reef
• Fact: The Great Barrier Reef has over 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres
• Fact: The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space
• Fact: Tourism to the reef generates approximately AU$ 4-5 billion per year
• Fact: Thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises have been recorded in the Great Barrier Reef
• Fact: Six species of sea turtles come to the reef to breed
• Fact: 215 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) visit the reef or nest or roost on the islands
• Fact: Seventeen species of sea snake live on the Great Barrier Reef
• Fact: More than 1,500 fish species live on the reef
• Fact: There are at least 330 species of ascidians on the reef system
The following is a photo of the Great Barrier Reef 30 years ago and today. An extremely horrifying difference.
What can I do to help?
Head over to WWF’s Fight For the Reef and sign their petition to save the Reef by clicking here.
Don’t forget to check out Greenpeace’s Save The Reef campaign and sign their petition by clicking here.
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