The Great Barrier Reef, not just an international heritage site, not only a national wonder but a home. Thousands of fish, hundreds of sharks and rays, and an abundant amount of dolphins and whales call the Great Barrier Reef home. A home that has seen the devastating impact of a multitude of intruders over the decades. More than ever before the reef is dependent on all humans around the globe to protect it and save it for future generations, whether you live on the other side of the planet or the reef is your backyard it is the role of all humanity to rescue the reef. These invaders may come in different forms, such as Climate Change and Tourism but the impact is the same, they all affect the continual growth of the Great Barrier Reef.
Sit back and relax while you read this, when you are done get up and #RescueTheReef
Everyday billions of people wake up, with no clue what in reality is happening to the reef and affecting it. Thousands understand but are still unaware of what they can do to aid the reef. Climate Change continues to be one of the biggest harms affecting the underwater phenomenon. As a collective we need to work together to stop the shifting within the climate. This is a true and catastrophic event acting on the Great Barrier Reef. The greenhouse emissions put into the atmosphere every second of every day, assists in killing the reef. The Climate change due to the greenhouse emissions affects the reef by but is not limited to rising sea levels, additional severe storms, higher water temperature and increased water acidity. It is unfortunate that many still don’t believe climate change is affecting the world and the Great Barrier Reef. These sceptics continue to deny that climate change is happening and in turn impacting the Great Barrier Reef’s survival. According to the Australian Governments ‘Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef’ article “Experts agree that the earth’s climate is warming and that this trend will continue. Climate change is expected to increasingly affect the Great Barrier Reef, with some impacts already occurring.” We must work collectively, to stop Australia losing identity. There are various things we can do in our local community to stop this drastic event. We must continue to speak up and spread the information about climate change, use renewable energy, ride bikes, recycle and reduce water and food waste. This is more than a national issue, it is now a universal problem that each and every person must commit to change.
Tourism is another major problem affecting the Great Barrier Reef. Over 2 million people flock in from around the world to witness this magnificent site, but sadly this has a traumatic impact on the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef. As stated by the Guardian in their interactive document; The Great Barrier Reef: an obituary it is said that “The reef was in danger of being loved to death. Diver’s Fins slapped against coral, anchors scraped the reef, and the rampant scavenging of shellfish disturbed the food chain.” To this day these acts of tourism continue to disrupt the reef and will continue to alter the existence of the reef for years to come. Although there is now a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, trying to keep safe the reef, it is our duty to be stewards of creation and take care of the reef when we visit the reef.
These detrimental attackers all play an integral role in damaging the reef many of which lead to the bleaching of corals. The increase in water temperature, in turn, affects the reef and speeds up the bleaching of the reef. Lowering tourism rates and climate change will help in stopping the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and lend a hand in helping other environmental issues. If we are able to attack these problems now, every year will become better for the reef and it will continue to thrive. The following graphs show statistics of the bleaching in the three sectors of the Great Barrier Reef, from the article ‘Great Barrier Reef bleaching stats are bad enough without media misreporting’ on The Conversation.
The Great Barrier reef is an international treasure, meaning we all need to help save and protect it. We must stand together to stop climate change and the effects it is having on the reef. The reef is home to thousands of species of fish, hundreds of sharks and rays and many dolphins and whales; we have to protect the reef for the homeowners, more than the tourists. It is our duty to stop the bad that is happening to the reef for decades more and so Australia does not lose a magnificent part of its identity.
Are you ready to #RescueTheReef ?