As a child I was a curious little boy who had big plans to see the world. After seeing some documentary on Animal Planet I always wanted to make sure i needed to see 1 place, The Great Barrier Reef. At it’s prime, the reef stretched over 2,500 kilometers, contained almost 1,000 islands and can be seen from space as seen in the photo below from NASA.gov Then I read some terrible news this week. As I was scrolling through Facebook as someone my age often does I read an unfortunate headline regarding the death of The Great Barrier Reef due to climate change and honest to god I was angry that we can be such a selfish species to let one the most beautiful places that this earth has to offer disintegrate into oblivion. The Bleaching caused by climate change is so bad that over 90% of the individual reefs involved in what we know as the great barrier reef are being affected by the bleaching. According to this guardian articlein The Guardian Decomposing coral has lost its color and can no longer provide shelter for the fish that live in it. The WWF website explains that the reef is home to over 1,000 species of fish, hundreds of species of coral, over 100 species of sharks and rays, multiple species of rare marine turtles, and dozens of marine mammals. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living ecosystem in the world. Being as old as the reef is there is several indigenous groups that depend on the reef and have relationships with it. This Article explains the indigenous people from the area of the reef. The Aboriginal people are some of the oldest on the planet. They use the reef and its natural resources for years for their culture and livelihoods.
This CNN Article explains that soon after the reef was declared dead that the situation was over exaggerated. The danger that the reef is in trouble is completely true but it is not too late. The goal of the conservation efforts should not be to mourn the death of the great barrier reef, but to look to the future because it can be saved with conservation efforts. I hope that I do get there one day and it is as beautiful, colorful and alive as I remember it in that documentary that originally caught my attention and made me fall in love with it.