Source: Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Australia has vowed to invest $500 million Australian Dollars to restore and protect one of its biggest tourist attractions, the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage Site, is suffering from the effects of global warming with aerial footage revealing a whopping two-thirds of the reef has experienced coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when increased sea temperatures kill off coral algae turning the reef white. Bleaching can eventually kill off the coral if temperatures remain high causing a loss of habitat for a myriad of different sea creatures.
The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s biggest tourist attraction, bringing in an approximate $3.5 billion annually through tourism and fishing. The reef, which is visible from space and the largest living organism on the planet, is labelled as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World.’
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s administration made the announcement over the weekend, saying the funds would go towards combating water pollution, reef monitoring and increased public awareness in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
“The more we understand about the reef, the better we can protect it,” Australian Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a statement. “Our contribution, through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, represents the single largest funding commitment ever for reef conservation and management in Australia’s history.”