The Australian government has decided to make the country’s largest ever investment on the humongous coral reef and spend millions of dollars to save and preserve the receding natural world heritage site that is extremely affected by climate change – the Great Barrier Reef.
The World Heritage site in Australian peninsula, the Great Barrier Coral Reef has been devastated for years due to the change in water temperature because of global warming. On Sunday, the Australian government unveiled their plans to try and preserve the devastating Great Coral Reef as Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg announced that 500 million Australian dollars ($379 million) will be set aside as a fund to save the coral reef. This will be Australia’s biggest ever investment made on the preservation of the Great Coral Reef.
The plan is to use the funds in improving the water quality which can be done by reducing water pollution that is occurring from farm fertilizer runoff. Besides this, the government is planning to experiment with laboratory-grown coral which would be grown to be more durable at higher temperatures. There will be focus on constant monitoring and measurement on the health of the coral reef because of the impacts of various measures taken. This ambitious conservation plan will be conducted by the Australian government which will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and work on long-term health of the reef.
However, the 1400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef is facing a severe ecosystem collapse – especially after two successive heat waves in 2016 and 2017 killed off about half of the northern reef’s area. Scientists and researchers believe that a mass destruction at the reef is inevitable unless we humans work on stemming the roots of climate change across the world. Paired that with operations of killing off the invasive species like the crown-of-thorns starfish and community engagement and enforcement is the only way that the Great Coral Reef can be saved from bleaching out completely.