Live or Die! Saving The Great Barrier Reef By James Grassi

Live or Die?

Saving the Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. It is a prized World Heritage site and the largest reef system and biggest living structure on the planet. It stretches over an astounding 344,400 square kilometers. The Great Barrier Reef is so large that it can be seen from space. However, in the last twenty-seven years, much of the reef has been damaged. We need to act now to save one of nature’s finest creations. Two-thirds of the corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the reef’s worst-ever bleaching event, according to our latest underwater surveys. After 25million years of existence, the Great Barrier Reef is now officially dead, according to scientists. The causes of the damage are many. These include coral bleaching, farm pollution, and industrialisation.

Coral bleaching is the result of global warming caused by mining and the burning of fossil fuels like coal. Global warming is heating our oceans - if the water stays too hot for too long, the coral bleaches and dies. If the coal mining industry get their wish, huge coal reserves in central Queensland will be opened up for mining and millions of tonnes of seafloor will be dredged in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to construct massive coal port expansions. The mining industry will then send hundreds more massive coal ships to pass through the reef, amplifying the risk of accidents and oil spills. This will negatively impact the coral at a time when the health of the Reef is already in decline. It’s pretty clear that we can either have the Reef or the Coal, but definitely not both!

Farming pollution and the run-off it causes is another reason for the Great Barrier Reef’s decline. It smothers corals and seagrass beds and denies them sunlight, which has driven the Crown of Thorn Starfish outbreaks. These starfish thrive on eating coral. Farming pollution has also caused coral to be more vulnerable to bleaching. Nitrogen run-off from farms can also lead to algal blooms, which starfish larvae feed on, promoting population explosions.

We need to Act now! Save the Reef before it disappears for ever! Preserve this Wonder of the World for future generations. Some of the ways that we can help are by banning coal mining near the Reef, choosing renewable energy over fossil fuels to reduce global warming and also put a halt to farming pollution in the area.

Vote for the Greens in the next election - They stand for environmental protection and renewable energy.

Donate to, or join organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace Australia – They have specific campaigns in place to promote and save this unique Natural Wonder. You could even adopt a turtle! Your donation will be used to work to ban key pesticides that pose unacceptable risks to marine turtles, work to reduce threats from fishing and to increase habitat protection.

Take a visit to the Great Barrier Reef yourself. See the Reef up close before it’s too late!

Live or Die?

The choice is up to us!

Visits these websites for more information

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: http://www.wwf.org.au/what-we-do/oceans/great-barrier-reef#gs.hC8=Ahg

GREENPEACE AUSTRALIA: http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en

Reflection

Let me just start off by saying, I should have started this assessment task earlier!

I really enjoyed this assessment as I am very passionate about the environment and what Mother Nature has given to us. I really believe that we must protect earth’s blessings and if we don’t, they will disappear within the blink on an eye. I believe that I have done a really good job on my written text as I thoroughly researched my chosen topic and even though I rushed it, I really enjoyed working on the Great Barrier Reef. It really helped that I was passionate about the subject matter! I think that I did a great job on my visual text also, as it stands out and has a very clear and straight to the point message (‘WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER SEE’). If I got to redo my assignment I would probably aim for better time management, instead of doing half the assessment on the last night, I would aim for trying to get the whole task done one week before it is due. But you know what, that’s just me. I found that I needed help with some of the technical components to this task. I found that parents weren’t very helpful with this, so I ended up calling a friend and going to his house for a study session. During this assessment task, I found out that the art of persuasion isn’t always what first comes to mind. When you think of persuasion, you are trying to get someone to do something, or to believe in something, that they might not necessarily have done or thought about! But it’s not just that, there are multiple sides to convincing someone. In class we learnt about Pathos, Logos and Ethos which are different ways of persuasions. For instance pathos is an appeal to emotions so you would try and convince someone emotionally. Depending on the subject matter and the target audience, I have learnt that there are more ways of persuading someone than you think- ranging from soft and subtle to loud, bold and in-your-face!

Credits:

Created with images by Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It. - "The Great Barrier Reef - 194"

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