The Destruction Of The Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef; it’s a land filled with the wonders of marine life and the beauty of biodiversity. A land where a dense forest of coral stretches on for miles, and schools of vibrant fish dart in and out of coral-ridged windows. A land where sunlight dances through crystal water, landing delicately upon strong branches of the reef and small crustaceans scuttle about the streets of the busy underwater city. It is a land free from the effects of human existence. At least, that’s what we’d like to believe. In reality, the great reef off of Australia’s northeastern coast is far from the picture perfect image of a magnificent ecosystem. Human actions have damaged this beauty of nature to the point where it is nearly irreversible. With each …show more content…
For instance, the massive increase in the population of crown of thorn starfish, natural predators of coral, certainly doesn’t improve the situation. These large creatures invert their stomachs onto the coral so that they can digest the coral as they move along, leaving traces of white skeleton in their path. Humans can’t be responsible for this factor, can they? Unfortunately, we are. Our immense contribution to the ocean’s unnatural contents has created an ideal habitat for the over reproduction of the crown of thorn starfish. Runoff of nitrogen and other minerals from agricultural farming flows into the ocean creating a new balance of chemicals which allows crown of thorn starfish to thrive. Another aspect that has been indicated to contribute to the mass population sizes for these starfish is the human destruction of a species. There are several species of snail that consume crown of thorn starfish, but these snails are often captured and used in curio trade, thus limiting their effects on the starfish population (Starfish Blamed). It is not the crown of thorn starfishes’ fault for over reproducing, or the snail’s fault for not being able to control the starfish population. Only humans are to blame. Human action pushed the first domino in a series of catastrophic …show more content…
The 2050 Reef Plan, established in March 2015 is run by a committee focused on the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. These guardian angels of the ecosystem have worked tirelessly to attempt to prevent any further injury inflicted upon the reef. In the short time the program has existed, it has made incredible progress. According to the committee's recent report, “Of 151 planned measures, including the limiting of sediment and chemical runoff from farms and the better management of starfish predators, 32 have been completed and 103 are underway or on track to begin” (Innis). This progress, while most certainly worthy of honor, did not prevent the recent mass bleaching of coral in the northern regions of the Great Barrier

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