According to environmentalists and experts in ecology, the Great Barrier Reef is in danger due to development in the area, overfishing and divers who take plants and animals and fail to take proper care of the area. In addition, storms and strong weather patterns in the vicinity have decimated the coral population, which endangers plants and animals.
Without many of this flora and fauna, people lose food sources, exports, and tourism in Australia suffers. And experts say that at least two decades are needed to restore the coral reefs to their former shape and size.
People all over the world can help with efforts to repair and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The Australian government is taking strides to protect the area by enacting legislation that ensures that people are respecting the reef and the plants and animals that call it home. This includes improving the water quality and passing laws to prevent overfishing or removing specimens as souvenirs. In addition, big name activists, such as the World Wildlife Federation and Greenpeace, are also working to raise funds and recruit volunteers to take measures for ensuring the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Earthwatch Institute works with scuba divers all over the world to promote awareness and carry out recovery tasks where needed. It also engages in extensive research of the Great Barrier Reef so that new ways can be found to protect the species that live there, while also continuing to make it a safe and profitable diving spot for the country of Australia. People who want to get involved can undergo the required assessment to determine their eligibility.
Coral disease is another major cause of loss in the Great Barrier Reef and is something that divers aren’t causing. That makes it concerning because the solution isn’t always as easy as legislative changes and rules that divers must follow. According to the Earthwatch Institute, black band disease is the most widespread problem and is currently being studied for clues and solutions for stopping it from decimating the coral in the area.
Climate change also affects the Great Barrier Reef, and researchers are studying how it works against the plants and animals in the reef in the hopes that a solution can be discovered and adjustments made to how we treat the environment before it’s too late.
Anyone, whether experienced in the field or not, can help the ecological wonderland that can be seen from outer space. Donations to fund research are the single best way to get involved if you can’t join research or dive teams. Any money raised is used to further the knowledge of the Great Barrier Reef and to create viable methods of protecting the species that live there. Anything you can and want to do is sure to help.