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Australia’s beautiful Great Barrier Reef has experienced its third mass bleaching in five years. With 60% of reefs affected, it's the most widespread ever recorded.
The reckless burning of fossil fuels is continuing to warm our oceans and threaten the most magnificent living structure on the planet, and all the creatures that call it home. Please give now to fight the destruction of our Great Barrier Reef.
Together, we can stop the destruction of the Reef
Your ongoing support is the most effective way to help the campaign and protect our Great Barrier Reef.
Could provide action tool kits for our network of passionate climate activists around Australia.
Could fund future protests to stop Scott Morrison's government from investing in fossil fuel projects.
Could put photographers in the Great Barrier Reef to capture evidence of mass coral bleaching.
We must end coal to protect the Reef's precious ecosystem
Why is the coral bleaching?
The Great Barrier Reef has been experiencing the worst bleaching event of its history, turning the coloured corals into ghostly white. This phenomenon occurs when the ocean stays at higher than normal temperatures, causing the corals to expel the algae, zooxanthellae, that live on them. Losing this algae puts stress on the coral and causes it to turn completely white. While it is possible for coral to recover from a bleaching event, the severity and length of the bleaching determines whether the coral will recover or die. It is estimated that up to 50% of the currently bleached coral will die.
As the globe continues to warm and ocean temperatures increase, we bleaching events like this will become more frequent and could occur annually as soon as 2030.
How the coal industry could impact the Reef
The coal industry poses three major threats to the Great Barrier Reef:
Dredging the reef floor to create coal ship routes can destroy parts of the reef bed. It can cause sediments to linger for kilometres, smothering the reef. As many marine species rely on the Great Barrier Reef as a breeding ground, the delicate balance of the reef ecosystem will be under threat.
The water used in coal, transport and mining could become contaminated, thick and cloudy, potentially and ending up in the reef.
Toxins aside, cloudy water would block sunlight, preventing algae from making food through photosynthesis.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The greenhouse gases generated by burning coal warms the ocean and increases the likelihood of coral bleaching. High concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air is absorbed by the ocean and acidifies it, harming sea life as marine habitats are transformed and migratory patterns are altered.
Why is the Great Barrier Reef so special?
The Largest Coral Reef System in the World
Actually composed of 2900 individual reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is as large as Tasmania and Victoria combined. That makes it the world's largest living structure. Because of this, the Reef gained world heritage status in 1981.
A Natural Biological Bank
The Great Barrier Reef is home to a spectacular array of nearly 9,000 marine species including dugongs, dolphins, whales, jellyfish and coral. In fact, with more than 1,500 different species of fish alone, the Great Barrier Reef represents 10% of the world's fish species.
Over 20 Million Years Old
The Great Barrier Reef's 20 million year old history shows that it survived the last glacial periods but may disappear in just 40 years. Destructive human activities and the climate crisis are disrupting the reef's ecosystem and sea life.
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