The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but that does not mean that it is invincible. In fact, it has been in grave danger for some time now. A new study, written about in ScienceMag, explains how the Australian government is stepping up to initiate protocols to protect the Great Barrier Reef. They focus a lot on short-term goals. This seems to be because, in the public’s eye, the Australian government is supposed to be doing something to fix this problem, so they are, but not enough to truly guarantee the safety of the reef. One main reason that the Australian government is getting involved at all is to insure that tourism doesn’t get negatively affected.
But would if really be a bad thing if tourism to the Great Barrier Reef were negatively affected?
The answer isn’t so clear-cut. It really depends on one’s perspective. From the point of view of someone truly interested in keeping the Great Barrier Reef alive, a decline in tourism at the reef would be much preferred. This is because the unprecedented number of people entering the reef disrupts the reef’s ecosystem. The foot traffic, fuel pollution, and anchor damage inflicted by tourism on the reef is a big reason for the steady decline in the reef’s life.
Tourism isn’t all to blame, though. A huge factor in the death of the Great Barrier Reef is global warming. Now this is where the Australian government stays silent in regards to the reef. Global Warming is responsible for the long-term death of the Great Barrier Reef. The increase in water temperature, even if it is just by a degree or two, is not good for the survival of the coral. If water temperatures don’t return to their lower temperature, there may be nothing that can be done to save the Great Barrier Reef.
But for now, people are just happy that something is being done to save the reef, even if it is counterproductive in the long run.