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Great Barrier Reef Issues

All About the Great Barrier Reef
by

Torrey McCollum

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of Great Barrier Reef Issues

Why is the Great Barrier Reef Important, and Why Should Other People and Countries Care About These Issues? What are People Doing to Save the Great Barrier Reef? People are doing many things to attempt to save the Great Barrier Reef. Some of them include:
-limiting amount of fishing around reef
-employing strict government oversight
-people can "adopt" parts of the reef through environmental protection organizations
-coral sand is created when the coral is eroded, then the sand lodges itself between openings in the reef, then it's bound together by algae, creating a limestone veneer, and it stabilizes and repairs areas where the Reef was hit by waves frequently What is the Great Barrier Reef? The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a coral reef ecosystem in the ocean, located on the North-East side of Australia. Coral reefs are where 25 percent of all organisms in the ocean live. One of the main animals in reefs is coral. Coral are tiny animals that are sessile, which means they are immobile. They reach out to get their food with tentacles, to catch small prey. Coral live in small colonies called polyps. There are also many other types of fish and marine animals that live in the Great Barrier Reef. How is the Great Barrier Reef Being Affected? The Great Barrier Reef is being affected by three main problems; climate change, over fishing, and pollution. What are All the Things People Can do to Save the Great Barrier Reef? What Organisms are Being Affected by This? There are thousands of plant and animal species that live in the Great Barrier Reef. Almost all of them are affected at one time or another from different causes. McKenna Horst and Torrey McCollom Endangerment of The Great Barrier Reef How Long has This Been Happening and How Did it Start? How Much of the Great Barrier Reef has Been Affected, and What's it Like in Different Areas? Who is Helping the Coral Reefs? What Things are Preventing the Reef From being Saved? How Big is the Great Barrier Reef Compared to Other Reefs? Are There Any Other Reefs that have Lost More Coral Than the Great Barrier Reef Has? Bibliography 1 "Basic Facts About Coral Reefs." Coral Reef. Defenders of Wildlife, 2013. Web. 02 May 2013

"Biodiscovery and the Great Barrier Reef." Importance of Coral Reefs. Queensland Museum, 2013. Web. 01 May 2013

"BiomeBrochure - Marine." BiomeBrochure - Marine. Tangient LLC, 2013. Web. 08 May 2013.

"Corals." Corals. Charles Welch, 2013. Web. 08 May 2013.

Coral Reef Biome." Animal Facts and Information RSS. Bioexpedition.com, 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

”Coral Reef Bleaching” Image - "Coral Bleaching Has Been Observed Worldwide." World Resources Institute. Reefbase, 25 Sept. 2008. Web. 02 May 2013.

"CORAL REEF DESTRUCTION AND CONSERVATION - Coral Reefs - Ocean World."CORAL REEF DESTRUCTION AND CONSERVATION - Coral Reefs - Ocean World. Ocean World, 2004. Web. 01 May 2013.

"Corel Reef Plants - Inch In A Pinch Saving the Earth." Corel Reef Plants - Inch In A Pinch Saving the Earth. Make Mine Magic Inc., 2009. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

"Coral Reefs." Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation, 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

"Dealbreaker." Dealbreaker. Breaking Media, 2013. Web. 08 May 2013.

"Dwarf Seahorse." Live Aquaria. Foster and Smith, 2012. Web. 8 May 2013.

"Earth's Featured Creatures." : Brain Coral. Blogger, 18 Jan. 2012. Web. 08 May 2013.

"Giant Clam | Wildlife | The Wildlife." Giant Clam | Wildlife | The Wildlife. Animal WIldlife, 13 Nov. 2011. Web. 08 May 2013.

”Great barrier reef space” picture- "File:GreatBarrierReef-EO.JPG." Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 Apr. 2010. Web. 02 May 2013.

Harris, Richard. "This Scientist Aims High To Save The World's Coral Reefs." Public Media. KQED Inc., 2013. Web. 02 May 2013. Climate Change Over-Fishing Pollution These are all of the reefs that have a large number of coral bleachings. As you can see, the Great Barrier Reef is one of them. This is where the Great Barrier Reef is located. People and other countries should care about the Great Barrier Reef because it:
-contains one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world
-protect coastline from wave action and tropical storms
-provides a habitat for marine organisms
-source of nitrogen and essential nutrients for a marine food chain
-assists in carbon and nitrogen fixing
-helps with nutrient recycling
-fish spawn and live there
-generates $1.5 billion in Australia's economy
-good for scientists to study
-good for social, recreational, and cultural activities (such as scuba diving) Map of GBR from space. If we don't save the Great Barrier Reef, we won't have pictures like these that show the beauty. This is bleached coral As temperatures rise, mass coral bleaching and infectious disease outbreaks are likely to become more frequent. Coral bleaching is when a coral plant doesn't have algae, so it doesn't have color. Coral plants are white and have colored algae (zooxanthellae) living on them to make their color. When the algae die or leave their coral, the coral is bleached or colorless. Also, carbon dioxide can dissolve into the water, which changes the water molecules negatively, resulting in hurt animals and plants that live in the reef. Many people fish in the Great Barrier Reef, mostly to collect rare fish species and sell them for a lot of money. This may be nice for humans, but this effects the reef in negative ways. When fish are killed, it will affect not only that species of fish, but the whole ecosystem. The animal's predators would not get to eat as much, and they could die too. Over-fishing creates a horrible disaster for the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is polluted by oil spills, storm water, road construction, and many other man-made pollutants. Pollution causes coral bleaching. It will also change the level of nutrients and toxins in the water which can kill many organisms in the reef. Bibliography 2 In addition to these, some more examples of animal species that live in the Great Barrier Reef are:
-Clown Fish
-Bi-color Anthias Fish
-Black tip Reef Shark
-Pharaoh Cuttlefish
-Yellow-Headed Jawfish Some more examples of plant species that live in the Great Barrier Reef are:
-Blue-green algae
-Brown algae
-Anchor coral
-Staghorn coral Coral bleaching has been happening for a long time, but it started to get really bad in the 1980's. 1998 was the worst year for coral because 10% of the world coral was completely destroyed. Major coral reef destruction was started mainly by over fishing, tourists numbers raising, pollution, and global warming. The Great Barrier Reef's Beauty is Fading Away All of the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef is taking away all the beauty of the coral, and all of the animals are leaving, because of the pollution, over-fishing, and climate change. All of the colors that the coral normally are, they're not, because of bleaching. Also, the marine animals are getting caught by fishers, who sell them for large amounts of money. Therefore, all of the marine animals are leaving, so they don't get caught, or die. There are several things that every individual can do to help save the Great Barrier Reef. We can start with simple things like using long lasting lightbulbs, recycling to leave less pollution, not leave trash on beaches, and cleaning up beaches and reefs. As companies, we can let less people scuba dive in the reef and make sure plumbing is going to the right places. As the government, we can make more laws to make coral reefs a safer environment for their plants and animals. "Life of Sea." Life of Blue Tang. Life of Sea, 2013. Web. 08 May 2013.

"MAPR." - Manatee Awareness & Protection Resource. MAPR, 2011. Web. 08 May 2013.

“Maps-of-australia” - "Detailed Maps of Australia." Detailed Maps of Australia. Queensland College Of Studies, 2013. Web. 02 May 2013.

"NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program." NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. NOAA, 13 May 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

Oakley, Rachel. “Factors Affecting Coral Reefs” Travel Tips. Demand Media. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

"Rate Every Animal." Rate Every Animal. WordPress, 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 08 May 2013.

"Reef Scene Great Barrier." Ocean Wide Images. Ocean Wide Images, 2011. Web. 7 May 2013.

Shah, Anup. “Coral Reefs”. Global Issues. 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

"Scientists: Global Warming Could Kill Coral Reefs by 2050 - USATODAY.com." Scientists: Global Warming Could Kill Coral Reefs by 2050 - USATODAY.com. USA Today, 2011. Web. 03 May 2013.

Telegraph, The. "Great Barrier Reef Loses Half Its Coral in Just 27 Years." The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 02 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 May 2013.

"The Chronicles Of Atlantis: Seagrasses: Prairies Of The Sea." The Chronicles Of Atlantis: Seagrasses: Prairies Of The Sea. Aquaman, 15 Jan. 2011. Web. 08 May 2013.

"The Lifestyle SOphisticate." Soleil Organique. The Lifestyle Sophisticate, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 08 May 2013.

"Threats to Southeast Florida Coral Reefs." Threats to Southeast Florida Coral Reefs. State of Florida, 2012. Web. 02 May 2013.

"Toadstool Leather – Sarcophyton Sp." Aquarium Advice. Fluff, 2013. Web. 08 May 2013.

"Top Ten Largest Coral Reefs." Travel Tips. Demand Media, 2013. Web. 02 May 2013.

"What Is Being Done To Protect Coral Reefs?-Curiosity." Curiosity. Discovery Channel, 2011. Web. 01 May 2013

"Zebra Shark." Exotic Freshwater Fish. Harry Susanto, 2012. Web. 08 May 2013. This is the same type of coral, not bleached. There are many organizations working to save the Great Barrier Reef, like the organization NOAA, to save up money and promote solutions. Individuals are also trying to solve these terrifying problems. For example, Ken Caldeira is helping by testing water samples to see what we can do to neutralize some toxins and acids to help coral grow faster than they are dieing. The Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of all of its coral in the past 20 years. The Great Barrier Reef may have lost a lot of coral, but it is not the only endangered reef in the world. There are many other reefs in the world that are also declining in coral due to pollution and global warming. One major example is the Florida Reef that has declined in coral by 15% in the past 9 years. The total Great Barrier Reef spreads for 1,600 miles. Scientists discovered in 2012 that over half of the reef has been destroyed, in the 27 years leading up to that year. They're worried that the coral could halve again by the year 2022. Coral is capable of recovery, however it takes 20 years to get back to full health. All of the parts of the Reef have been affected in the same ways, and the conditions are the same throughout the reef. The Great Barrier Reef is not "doomed" to die alone. Isolated coral reefs can bounce back from serious injury, even in spite of unhelpful neighbors, such as humans, or marine animals. Bleached strips of coral are vulnerable to death. Scientists used to think that they'd only recover if new coral settled in, but in one reef, coral regrew without new coral. Therefore, the Great Barrier Reef just hasn't had the resources and time they need to grow back. Coral reefs cover less than 0.2% of the ocean, yet contain 25% of the world's marine fish species. The top 10 largest coral reefs in the world, according to the article, "Top Ten Largest Coral Reefs" from 2013 are:
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
2. Apo Reef, Philippines
3. Mesoamerican Reef, Caribbean Basin
4. Florida Keys, United States
5. New Caledonian Barrier Reef, New Caledonia
6. Red Sea Coral Reef, Red Sea
7. Maldives-Chagos-Lakshadweep Atolls, Indian Ocean
8. Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
9. Andros Barrier Reef, Bahamas
10. Saya de Malha Banks, Indian Ocean
Therefore the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. The Great Barrier Reef is in a lot of danger. It is being affected by climate change, over fishing, and pollution. If we all pitch in to do simple things (such as limiting fishing, use more efficient products that won't pollute, and clean up the water and reefs), we can save the Reef and all of its beauty. We wouldn't want the largest, prettiest reef of all to decrease in size and turn white.
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