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Eco-fact Friday: Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

North Queensland, Australia tourism operators have been refusing to take news media and political figures to the Great Barrier Reef for fear that reports on the bleaching of the reefs will cause visitor numbers to decline. As we've written about before, the Great Barrier Reef is facing the worst bleaching of all the reefs in the world's oceans. Bleaching, caused by global warming, extreme sunlight, rising ocean temperatures, and climate change in general, can literally cause the death of a coral reef. Coral reefs sustain myriad types of marine life, so if the reefs don't survive, neither do the marine life that rely upon the reef for survival.

Bleached coral reef

According to an Australian dive operator named Tony Fontes, he gets asked repeatedly for contacts so that the media can interview other dive operators and take pictures of the bleached reefs, but nine out of ten of the divers contacted routinely refuse. Fontes goes on to say that even the most eco-minded divers don't want to bring media and politicians to see the bleached reefs because the assumption is that they just want negative "gloom and doom" stories about the reefs. The divers worry that because the tourism in North Queensland relies so heavily upon the health of the Great Barrier Reef, exposing the bleaching could threaten thousands of jobs. But Fontes rightly says that the more publicity the bleaching event gets, the greater the chance that people will take action to assist in bringing the reef back to health. The problem isn't going to go away, so it's time to make it widely known. We at Water Gallery couldn't agree more.

As always, reduce, reuse, recycle, and conserve. Small, everyday changes can make a huge difference.



May 05, 2016 • Posted by Bets Bloom

How sad! I would think a documentary done by a respected organization like National Geographic might bring to light the effects of global warming, while encouraging visitors to experience the beauty of the reef. Perhaps visitors will be inspired to join the movement to save our natural resources after seeing the effects of global warming.

May 03, 2016 • Posted by Theresa

We have to always try to keep in mind our environment, and the global footprint we leave on it. Makes me crazy when people say global warming is not real. We only have 1 home, people have to start respecting it and taking better care of it. It will truly be a shame to see the great barrier reef fade away.

May 03, 2016 • Posted by Jessica

I hope one day I can visit the great barrier reef before it is gone or aleast be able to save it. I heard it is amazing.

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