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The Great Barrier Reef

Gabriel Robertson, 8H

Table of Contents
Background-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------P3 Introduction------------------------------------------------------------------------------------P3 Why is the Great Barrier Reef important? -----------------------------------------------P3 What Threats are faced by the Great Barrier Reef? ------------------------------------P3 How Can We Save the Great Barrier Reef? ---------------------------------------------- P3 Recommendations---------------------------------------------------------------------------- P4 Conclusion--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------P4 Bibliography----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- P4

Background There are many wonderful and unique environments in Australia ranging from the beautiful Daintree rainforest to the amazing Kakadu national park. However many of these environments are under threat by tourism, global warming and a number of other issues Introduction Good morning 8H, my name is Gabriel Robertson and Im from the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, where my job is to protect, and create awareness for endangered environments. Today I will be talking to you about the Great Barrier Reef and why it is important, what threats it faces and what can be done to save this amazing Australian icon. Why is the Great Barrier Reef important? The Great Barrier Reef is 3000km long, up to 65km wide and has over 3000 individual reef systems in it, and is home to 1500 species of fish, 200 types of birds and 20 types of reptiles (Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef, 2011). It is also home to a number of endangered species including the dugong and the green sea turtle. So as you can imagine it brings in a lot of tourists, in fact more than 2 million people visit each year raking in 2 billion dollars in tourism. However the reef is not just important because of its impact on the Australian economy but also because it serves as a protective habitat for many forms of marine life. Also the calcium carbonate found in the coral skeletons helps keep the pH balance in the ocean (Fact Sheet on the Coral of the Great Barrier Reef, 2009). The Great Barrier Reef is a very unique environment that is important to the economy and the environment. What Threats Are Faced by the Great Barrier Reef? Like so many other world heritage listed sites the Great Barrier Reef is in danger from a number of different causes, however tourism isnt one of them. The reef is spread out over such a large area that any littering or otherwise damaging the environment can be taken because the reef is so big. One of the dangers that the reef does face is a number of damaging chemicals or sewage running into rivers and then out into the reef. But the main killer of corals is because of bleaching which is an effect that global warming has on coral. In fact most of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef will be dead by 2050 if the sea temperatures keep rising (the worlds most important coral region is in danger of being wiped out, 2004). Reef corals are very sensitive to change in sea temperatures and even a 1C could cause bleaching in many dominant coral species (Coral Bleaching, 2007). If a mass coral bleaching occurs it will cost the loss of 12, 000 jobs and cost the economy $8 billion dollars (Great Barrier Reef corals mostly dead by 2050, 2004). How Can We Save the Great Barrier Reef? The best way to save the Great Barrier Reef is to reduce our impact on global warming by reducing the amount of electricity you use, and also use public transport more (Reef harm would put 38b hole in tourism, 2011). Also by

disposing of chemicals properly rather than just dumping them into the sewage system you can prevent those chemicals from doing damage to the reef. There are also more radical ideas being considered like moving the corals from the north of the reef to the south of the reef so that the corals could adapt to the change in temperatures however this could come with untold consequences (Reef harm would put 38b hole in tourism, 2011). Overall the best way for you to help the Great Barrier Reef is to reduce your carbon footprint in as many ways as possible. Recommendations This report recommends that immediate action be taken to prevent global warming and the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. Everyone can do his or her bit in reducing their carbon footprint. Conclusion In conclusion the Great Barrier Reef is a great Australian icon that is under threat from global warming and chemicals that leak into the reef from the river and can be saved by reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit and disposing of waste properly rather than dumping it into the river. Bibliography Steele, S. 2009, fact sheet on coral of the great barrier reef Terrax, http://terrax.org/teacher/lessons/australia/reef/reeffacts.aspx 29/8 Australian Government. 2007, Great Barrier Reef, Australian Government, http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/great-barrier-reef 29/8 Barrier Reef Australia. 2010, Great Barrier Reef- Did You Know, Barrier Reef Australia, http://www.barrierreefaustralia.com/the-great-barrier-reef/greatbarrier-reef-info3.htm, 28/8 Channel New Asia. 2004, Great Barrier Reef corals mostly dead by 2050, says Australian study, Channel New Asia, http://thewe.cc/weplanet/news/water/rising_sea_temperature_killing_great_ba rrier_reef.htm, 28/8 Reef Ed. 2007, Coral Bleaching, Reef Ed, http://www.reefed.edu.au/home/explorer/hot_topics/coral_bleaching, 27/8 Dive The Reef. 2011, Taking Care of the Reef, Dive The Reef, http://www.divethereef.com/Guides/ReefCare.asp, 27/8 Wilkinson, M. 2009, Reef Harm Would Put $38b Hole In Tourism Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/reefharm-would-put-38b-hole-in-tourism-20090809-ee8s.html, 28/8 Blue Marble. 2009, How To Help Stop Global Warming, Blue Marble, http://www.bluemarble4us.com/, 29/8