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Hannah, Brooks, Alex, Kyle
 World’s largest reef system
 2,900 individual reefs, 7% of reef is coral
 Tourism generates 4-5 billion dollars of revenue/year
 2 million people visit each year
 Fishing industry worth 1 billion
Environmental Issues
 Sediment and chemical runoff
 Ocean acidification
 Climate Change
 2010 Great Barrier Reef oil spill
 Thirty major rivers and hundreds of small streams run
through the Great Barrier catchment area.
 Sediment in rivers run into the reef and make the
water murky
 Sediment smothers coral
 Farming fertilizers cause chemical runoff.
 Runoff Includes copper which prevents coral growth
 Excess nutrients from fertilizers causes poor water
quality. Makes coral more susceptible to the spread of
infectious disease.
Climate Change
 Climate change is considered the greatest threat to the
 If the ocean raises 1 degree the reef could be destroyed.
 Atmospheric CO2 has increased 103 ppm this century
 Higher temperatures cause coral bleaching
 Causes disease susceptibility and detrimental ecological
effects for reef communities
Ocean Acidification
 Caused by greenhouse gas emissions
 Water in the atmosphere reacts with CO2 and lowers
pH. Enters the ecosystem through precipitation
 Decreases the ability for organisms to make calcium
 Disables organisms from defending themselves against
Oil Spills
 2010 Great Barrier Reef Oil Spill
 Created largest grounding scar ever recorded on the reef
 The damaged areas are now completely devoid of marine
 Often oil spill clean up cause more damage to
ecosystem than the spill itself
 Oil drilling causes marine structural damage
The Future Issues
 Fewer fish
 White coral
 Increased bacteria
 Polluted waters
 Algae blooms and crown of thorn growth
 Increased pesticide exposure
Saving the Reef
 No fishing zones, fishing limits
 Allocating specific wildlife areas. Closed off to tourism.
 Marine sanctuaries
 Teach proper irrigation to farmers and fine for
chemical runoff
 Individual action to reduce global warming effects
(limit electricity use, recycle)