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The Great Barrier Reef


The Great Barrier Reef A Natural Wonder of the World Coral Reefs What are they? Coral: a tiny marine polyp that makes up the living part of the coral reef; they ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef
  • A Natural Wonder of the World

Coral Reefs What are they?
  • Coral a tiny marine polyp that makes up the
    living part of the coral reef they give the reef
    its colourful, swaying appearance
  • Coral Reef a build-up of the skeletons of dead
    coral living coral roots itself on the dead
    coral dead coral is a white colour because it
    has calcified over time and has built up over
    hundreds and thousands of years

A Coral Reefs Demands
  • Warm, shallow, and clean salt water
  • 17?c
  • Water no deeper than 27m
  • Easily killed by pollution (bleached)
  • Need lots of sunlight and plankton
  • Feed on minute plankton and invertebrate life

What is the Great Barrier Reef?
  • It is the worlds largest coral reef
  • Over 2000km long (about the distance from here to
    Nova Scotia)
  • It stretches along the eastern coast of
  • It is made up of 2,900 individual coral reefs
    that are very close to one another

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So, whats the big deal?
  • The Great Barrier Reef attracts about 1.5 million
    tourists every year and generates 1 billion
    annually but why?
  • Superb weather
  • White sandy beaches
  • Lush rainforest islands
  • Clear blue, green, and turquoise ocean waters
  • Attractions include scuba diving, snorkelling,
    swimming, surfing, sailing, bird watching, etc.

Scuba Diving theGreat Barrier Reef
  • Scuba diving is the greatest attraction
    enthusiasts travel from all over the world\
  • Life on the Great Barrier Reef
  • 1,500 species of fish
  • 400 different types of coral (fan, brain)
  • 400 types of mollusks (clams, sea slugs)
  • 500 species of seaweed
  • 215 species of birds
  • 16 species of sea snakes
  • 6 species of sea turtles
  • Winter migration ground for whales

Increased Tourism Increased Damage
  • Increased tourist activity has had negative
    environmental effects
  • How can we damage the reefs?
  • Trample and kill the coral (walking on it)
  • Scrape and bang the coral, making it vulnerable
    to disease (dragging diving gear, dropping
    anchors, dragging nets)
  • Removal of coral (souvenirs very illegal)
  • Pollution (oil spills, pesticides, sewage
    dumping, fertilizers, boat fuel,)
  • Accelerates seaweed growth, which blocks out
  • Accelerates algae growth, which smothers the
  • Global warming

Conservation and Protection Initiatives
  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has
    introduced park zoning (1975)
  • Is a way to minimize negative impacts of tourism
  • Reserves some areas of the Great Barrier Reef for
    enjoyment by the public, while others are
    preserved for their natural states and are left
    undisturbed (except for scientific research)
  • Was designated a World Heritage Site by the
    United Nations (1981)
  • Permanent dock built to avoid anchor damage
  • Education program targeted toward tour boat
    owners and tourists