Great Barrier Reef Facing Threats By: Michelle Innis

Summary of Article:

  • Climate change and the flow of farm chemicals, in addition to coastal sediment into ocean waters near Australia are posing a huge threat to the survival of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • A government report to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization was meant to reassure that risks were well managed, however it painted a grim picture of the protection of the reef. It also ignored existing plans by the Queensland State government to allow the development of an extremely large coal mine 200 miles away from the reef, which could cause further damage.
  • As reported by the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, the Great Barrier Reef has suffered the WORST coral bleaching and die off ever recorded.
  • This report demonstrated that of 151 planned measures in the "Reef 2050" 35 year plan, to save the reef, 32 have been completed and 103 are in the process.
  • However, Ian Chubb , the chairman of an independent panel on the reef warned that climate change poses the most significant threat.
  • In addition to the Reef 2050 plan, the Queensland government commissioned a study to estimate the costs of achieving water quality targets that would significant improve the reefs health, they collected that the costs for meeting targets along the length of the reef was 8.2 billion Australian dollars or $6 billion.
  • This report was only an update, although it will likely draw criticism from environmentalists.

Here is a video from National Geographic showing the "cooking" of the Reef...

Analysis of Article:

The content of the article is EXTREMELY noteworthy. The Great Barrier Reef is not only one of the worlds most amazing environments, but it is a habitat for so many organisms, and is an important spot for Australian tourism. The destruction of this habitat would be an environmental disaster and a huge disappointment.

The best thing to do at this point, is to override the economic burdens of protecting this important environment and follow through with the "Reef 2050" plan. The flow of chemicals into Australian waters needs to be halted.

Big Takeaways...

I picked this article because despite the glory of the Great Barrier Reef, I have not heard that much about it, or its decline. From this article I hoped to learn more about the effect of climate change on the reef. I did achieve learning more about this, and I also learned a lot about how difficult it is to prevent. I hope to learn even more about the "Reef 2050" plan, and I also would be interested to hear the critique of environmentalists.


Created with images by Bob Linsdell - "Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (483792)" • Bob Linsdell - "Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (483781)" • Paul from - "Great Barrier Reef, Eddy Reef off Mission Beach" • Bob Linsdell - "Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (483778)" • Bob Linsdell - "Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (483742)" • jennifrog - "Jen & Dave on the Great Barrier Reef" • Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It. - "The Great Barrier Reef - 098"

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