Australia recently announced its plan to invest 500 Australian dollars, or $377 million U.S. dollars towards the restoration and protection of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef has been negatively affected by many things, including storm damage and bleaching caused by warming of oceans.
The Great Barrier Reef is believed to be the largest living organism on the planet. The Reef can even be seen from space. It has over 400 types of coral and nearly 1,500 species of fish.
Due to warming of the Earth, though, large parts of the Great Barrier Reef have died due to heat waves. Just a couple years ago, a long lasting undersea heave wave swept over many areas of the reef and drastically changed it for good.
Since then, the coral has continued to die. Researchers and environmentalists worried that nothing would be done for the Reef. They worried that the future of the Great Barrier Reef would be even grimmer than expected.
Also due to ocean water temperatures rising, coral continues to be bleached. This happens to coral when the temperatures cause algae to grow inside the coral itself. This turns the reefs white and get rid of the major energy source. At this point, more than two thirds of the coral within the reef has been bleached.
Because of the obvious destruction and needed remedies, Australia decided to step in. They will utilize this money to try to monitor and improve the conditions of the Reef. This is said to be the largest management plan to fix the conditions of any reef in the history of Australia.
Some things that plan to do to help the reefs is better the quality of the water, try to control the predators of the reef and try to broaden the reef restoration. The majority of the 500 million will go to the Great Barrier Reef foundation. The hope is that, together, they can bring life back into the dying Reef that is so vital to our environment.