Australia to fund Great Barrier Reef restoration
May 3, 2018
Australia announced that it is pledging $500 million, £275 million and $379 million, towards the Great Barrier Reef. The reef has lost 30 percent of its coral due to bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures and has been damaged by crown-of-thorns starfish which prey upon the coral polyps.
The funding will be used to reduce the runoff of agricultural pesticides and improve the water quality. Additionally, some money will be put towards local farmers to help better their practices.
The reef is a vast collection of thousands of smaller coral reefs stretching from the northern tip of Queensland to the state’s southern city of Bundaberg. It is one of the 1,052 sites of environmental and cultural importance on Unesco’s World Heritage List (BBC.com).
Unprecedented coral bleaching in recent years has caused damage to more than two-thirds of the reef. Crown-of-thorns starfish are one of the most damaging creatures to tropical coral reefs. They release the contents of their stomach on to the coral, then digestive juices liquify the coral ready for consumption. A single starfish can wipe out large areas of a reef.
The reef is one of the many beautiful and intricate wonders of the Earth that still remain today. Yet without help, the flourishing ecosystem that it provides may not be around for much longer. Australia is setting a standard for the rest of the world, may others take note and do their part to help keep our Earth as beautiful as it once was.