Great Barrier Reef By Matthew Saunders


The Great Barrier Reef is located off the Coast Queensland stretching from the tip of the Cape York peninsula spanning all the way down to Bundaberg in the South. The Reef is also known as an ecosystem as it is comprised of thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 different types of soft and hard coral. The Great Barrier Reef is significant to aboriginal Australians in many ways, the most evident of these are that they hunted in the waters of The Great Barrier Reef for food. The fish in The Great Barrier Reef were a source of food for the Aboriginal Australians at one point throughout there existence. The Great Barrier Reef helped the Aboriginal Australians to stay alive as the fish were a food source. The Aboriginal Australians used the Reef for recreational purposes which means they used it for fun and enjoyment. The significance of the Great Barrier Reef to the Australian community in general has something to do with the massive impact it has on the tourism industry which gives the Australian community money. The money can be used for upgrading the community and and the landmarks around Australia,

Map of Australia with Great Barrier Reef on it.


The location of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is Queensland but the exact coordinates of the GBR are 18.2871° S, 147.6992° E. Dreamtime stories about the GBR are hard to find but I managed to find one. In the beginning, as far back as we remember, our home islands were not islands at all as they are today. They were part of a peninsula that jutted out from the mainland and we roamed freely throughout the land without having to get in a boat like we do today. Then Garnguur, the seagull woman, took her raft and dragged it back and forth across the neck of the peninsula letting the sea pour in and making our homes into islands. The contour map shows us how deep the water of The Great Barrier Reef is in places, it also shows how high and low below sea level it is. The GBR is made up of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching over 2,300 kilometres.

By authors: Nick Reid and Patrick D Nunn

In the right corner the shape of the GBR is the same shape and the phot of California in the other photo. If these pictures aren't exactly the same they are very alike and it shows the true shape of the GBR.
California outine which is the same shape and outline as the GBR.

Fun fact

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest ling thing in the world.


There are many species of animals that live in the GBR such as over 1625 species of fish, 1400 coral reef species, over 3000 species of shells, 630 species of sea urchins and starfish. Also 14 breeding species of sea snakes, 215 species of birds, they have 6 of the worlds largest species of marine turtles. The last ones are 30 species of whales/dolphins and 133 species of sharks and stingrays. The vegetation for the animal life in the GBR is bigger fish eat other smaller fish and small fish eat the plants in the GBR. The surrounding landscape of the GBR is beach along the coastline. There is a lot beach throughout Queensland but especially along the coastline there is a lot of beach. The GBR has a tropical climate of 24 to 33 degrees in the summer and in winter between 14 and 26 degrees. Being a tropical climate the GBR on,y goes through two seasons the green and the dry. The biggest challenge the GBR has faced overtime is illegal fishing and declining water quality. They have tried to stop these over the years but haven't had much luck. As beautiful as the GBR is if people keep treating it like they are it might not be around for much longer.

Fun Fact

Tourism to the GBR generates around 4-6 billion dollars a year.


The tourism industry is benefitted by the GBR as it generates 5-6 billion a year. People are drawn to the amazing scenery and animal life it is really beautiful. The GBR is the 1st rated tourism attraction in Australia, it draws people towards it by the amazing animal life and scenery. Some othe roblems that the GBR had faced is declining coral. The coral is slowly declining there is less and less by day which makes it hard to believe that it will be reserved for future generations.


One defenit action that needs to be taken to preserve the GBR for future generations is to give money for the reefs health. The GBR is Australia's number one tourist attraction and generate over 5-6 billion a year so surely the government could give money to keep the Reef as beautiful as it is today for many years. Tourists love the Reef and it would have a huge impact on the tourism industry if the GBR was no longer around. Another thing they could do is make sure people don't get close to the Reef and animals. If they hurt the animals it might not look like much but if every person Is hurting an animal it slowly declines the beauty of the GBR. I myself believe the GBR is an amazing site and everyone around the world for years to come should be able to witness its beauty. That's why I think these actions could really help and benefit people for generations to come. We know that there is still sustainability issues the most evident one to me is definitely illegal fishing in the GBR. Illegal fishing is not ok it slowly but surely takes away from the beauty of the GBR. This is probably the biggest issue because it is caused by humans not by freak weather. We can definitely stop this from happening, this is not ok for me I hate the thought of people taking away from the beauty of the GBR.

Fun fact

You can see The Great Barrier Reef from space.


One action of management that needs to be taken to prevent the decking health of the GBR is making sure there are no oil spills. Oil spilling from docks near by seems like it would happen rarely but no that's no all true, it is a problem that just won't be fixed. We need to have people taking more care with oil around the GBR waters. Oil in water can cause fish to die it can also cause declining water quality that is one of the biggest causes of the declining health of the GBR.


The most significant change that is happening to the GBR is the government are donating 200 million dollars a year towards the Heath of the Reef and its animal life. This change is happening because the Reef is slowly declining in health. Overtime the coral won't be as beautiful as it is now unless the government makes changes like this. The government is aware of the sustainability problems that are occurring and they are responding. The GBR will look beautiful in years to come if they keep making changes like this to prevent any death of the animal and coral inside of the GBR waters. If they don't make any changes to the safety pf the Reef it won't look beautiful it will just look dark and dead which is not what anyone wants.

Part 2

There are a few current issues when it comes to The Great Barrier Reef. But the main issue is definitely climate change, The Great Barrier Reef suffers from climate change because it can cause more severe weather storms which is also one of the biggest threats to The Great Barrier Reef. With saying that the next worst issue is declining water quality. This problem is caused by rising seawater temperatures and increasing seawater acidity these problems are cause by climate change but it definitely is associated with it. This problem will certainly effect the long term health of The Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef isn't just a Reef it is one of the landmarks that tourists love to see when they come here which means if it dies over years and doesn't look very good anymore it will impact the tourism industry.

The last issue that is causing declining health of The Great Barrier Reef are illegal fishing and costal development. Illegal fishing is pretty self explanatory, but it is people going fishing in The Great Barrier Reef which is illegal. This is a very serious issue as the fish in The Great Barrier Reef are beautiful and we can't just let people take away beauty from the largest coral reef in the world. I Think this could be the worst issue regarding the declining health and well being of the beautiful place we call The Great Barrier Reef.


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Bauer, A. (2017). Importance of Coral Reefs - Biodiscovery and the Great Barrier Reef - Queensland Museum. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Cairns Dive Adventures. (2017). Where is the Great Barrier Reef Located? Queensland, Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 May 2017]. (2017). Managing and protecting the Great Barrier Reef | Department of the Environment and Energy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017] (2017). Animals - GBRMPA. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2017]. (2017). Threats to the Reef - GBRMPA. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 May 2017].

Great Barrier Reef. (2017). Great Barrier Reef | Australia's Great Natural Wonder. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Great Barrier Reef. (2017). Great Barrier Reef | Australia's Great Natural Wonder. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017]. (2017). Great Barrier Reef. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017]. (2017). Coral Reef - The shape of the land, Forces and changes, Spotlight on famous forms, For More Information. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017]. (2017). Great Barrier Reef Facts for Kids - Pictures & Information. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017].

By Matthew Saunders

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