Great barrier reef By Jemmasen Beech

Characteristics of the environment:

Characteristics of The environment: the features of this place include lots of different types of fish/mammals and lots of amazing coral reefs. This reef is all environmental made, this reef also has 600 continent islands . Man made features: There are no man made creations in the reef but they have created lots of different ways to look at the reef not just snorkelling and scuba diving that are man made, there are also rubbish that people drop into the ocean and end up there. There are also houses alone the shore line witch effects the rubbish in the ocean.

The significance of this place to the indigenous community:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef. There importance with the Great Barrier Reef goes back for more then 10,000 years ago, when the Great Barrier Reef was in fact above water. When the Great Barrier reef was above water the aboriginal people actually lived in some parts of of the reef before it was actually filled with Corel and sea water. Before all the coral the reef was filled with limestone hills, koalas, echidnas and wallabies. This reef is important to the indigenous people because the reef was their Home and still is to manny, they even grow up with the reef while the reef was growing its self. The original owners of the reef have lots of dream time story's about the reef but most are not puplic most of the stories are kept within there families. There are a lot of other clans still living next to the reef who still follow these stories, importance and rules with this reef.

Location: the Great Barrier Reef is located Australian northern-eastern cost starting at the famous end cape York going all the way down to south Bundaberg.
Animal life: The Great Barrier Reef has more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, including one third of the world's softest corals, it has 134 species of sharks and rays, more then 30 different types of whales and dolphins, 300 different species of jellyfish, six of the world's seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals. The Great Barrier Reef is a Home to endangered turtles, like the sea turtle and the leatherback turtle and six of the seven sea turtle species are classified as threatened or endangered due to human actions and lifestyles.

How it was formed: The Great Barrier Reef is an extremely ancient place with tons of living creatures, there is no physical proof on how the reef was formed yet, but it is dated back to nearly a million years ago. Through that time many have sailed the Great Barrier Reef and one of the captains who sailed the length of the Great Barrier Reef was captain James cook, who's boat was shipwrecked by the coral.

The coral over the years has put many sailers to grief like captain James cook as well as about 30 other captains.

There are also 30 different sites of shipwreck sites in the reef.

About the Great Barrier Reef seascape: the Great Barrier Reef covers an area of 344.400km2 and the length of 2300km long. This reef is the largest living structure on the planet. The reef can be seen from out of space and is the size of 70 million foot ball field. The Great Barrier Reef's seabed can fill up the New York Empire State Building 49 times.


The Great Barrier Reef has a tropical climate, with an average temperatures in summer in between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius and in winter it gets up to 14 to 26 degrees.

All aspects of the Great Barrier Reef are natural.

Great Barrier reef

Animal protection:

Various parts of the reef are protected by many different ways for example one part of the reef has banned fishing other areas have limited fishing amounts. Another part of the reef is protecting certain mammals like whales, dolphins, dugongs and green turtles are protected.

How has the environment been challenged over the years?

The Great Barrier Reef has been challenged over the past years the reef has been challenged by all sorts of things, some have been sorted but others have not. The reef has suffered a series of crown thorn starfish since the 1960's the starfish have been destroying the corals, the crown thorn star fish impact on sea life can get so bad that the coral can die, there are many stages of the crown thorn starfish that can take between 1-15 years.

Tourism is also a big threat on the ocean. More then two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef a year. Tourists are carried across the reef by more then 500 boats.

The positive effect with tourism can be good to, with almost 2 million people seeing the reef a year Queensland Australia make a ton of money around about 1 billion Australian dollars a year that can go to the marine biologists trying to save and preserve the reef to make sure the reef can be with us for our years to come.

Although tourism is great it does have its negative sides, it has impact on small fragile corals being Brocken by just walking into the reef. Other effects that brake the coral include, ship anchors or boats dropping fuel and the amount of people swimming in the reef run of sweat and tan location has an negative impact on the fragile reef environment.

Change: The changes that are occurring to the Great Barrier Reef are not very good, the coral is becoming dry in some places and leaving them to look pale white and dead. Here is a photo of what the Great Barrier Reef is starting to look like.

What is happening and Why is this occurring? what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef is called bleaching. Bleaching occurs when coral go through stress, this is a matter of climate the Warmer the ocean temperatures are they then put stress on coral and lead to coral bleaching. These past 2 years temperatures are increasing and it is a problem of climate change and pollution caused by our actions. Some other human threats includes shipping accidents, over fishing, oil spill and tourist visits.

About coal:

Fact: with out stress These corals produce algae inside their polyps which gives them their Beautiful colors, and most importantly it provides there energy. After the coral goes through stress and becomes bleached the algae witch is there food leaves them and Without its food, the coral will starve and die.

Bleaching coral is not always dead coral. If it can stay alive until water temperatures decrease back to normal, then the symbiotic algae can return. But it may take decades for the coral to get back to its normal self.

Once a reef dies, it loses its fish, and turns into a seascape of green muck.

The bleached coral is on the left side of this photo and the brown algae is how it will end up looking when it dies. This is how it may look in the future.

How can we protect and save the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come?

Australia is doing as much as they can to protect the Great Barrier Reef but there is not a lot we can do. There is options to donate to the marine biologist studying and trying to protect the reef.

Marine biologists in America have found a way to restore coral and fish into old dead and forgotten reefs.

Marine biologists in America have found a way to restore reefs after they have died. This marine biologist who discovered this was just about to retire when he found a way to save our planet. He goes by the name of Dr. Dave Vaughan he is the program manager for coral restoration, at a marine lab in Florida (America). Dr. Dave Vaughan grows coral in his lab to then Be planted back out on the reef. He discovered this when h accidentally broke a coral into tiny pieces, he then though the coral was going to die or be very stressed. Instead of think this was a mistake amd thinking that the coral was going to die it actually grew. Each of the coral he grew in his lab in a few months they grew to the size that would of taken a few years to grow. After that acedent he knew he could restor reefs. He tests each of these corals by using what water conditions may be like in 100 years, he keeps the ones that survive the test. If all goes well in this experience we may be able to bring the Great Barrier Reef back to life.

Fact: we have lost 25-40% of the corlds corals. Dr. Dave Vaughan says "if you don't think this matters then you should ask yourself do you like to breath? Land plants only produce about 1/3 of the oxygen we breathe. The rest comes from the ocean!"

Fact: the reef has an average depth of 35 metres in its inshore waters, while on the reefs, are that go more then 2000 meters deep.

sustainability issue:

There are many sustainability issues on the reef. Here is a small list of a few:

  • Illegal fishing
  • Overfishing
  • Oil spills
  • Ship wreckage
  • Crown thorn starfish
  • Stepping on and breaking off coral
  • Climate
  • Tourism
  • Photo reference:
  • The
  • Wikipedia
  • Website reference:
Created By
Jemmasen Beech

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