why is the great barrier reef threatened

WWF's Fight for the Reef campaign has landed some knock-out punches during the past two years. It has helped to secure a ban on capital dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and protected untouched parts of the Reef coast, like the Fitzroy Delta and Cape York, from new port developments. We have also stopped three mega coal port expansions and ensured that the World Heritage Committee keeps the Australian Government "on probation" until Reef health improves. This is all tremendous, but we can t let up. Our Reef is still under threat from a major port expansion at Abbot Point, chemical run-off from farms and global warming. We must remind our governments that it s their job to protect the Reef and the 69,000 jobs it provides. It's not just a national but a global responsibility. We love our Great Barrier Reef, but we re going to have to continue to fight for it. We need to continue to work with a range of partners to raise awareness of the major threats the Reef faces, including industrialisation, global warming and fertiliser run-off.


And, more specifically, this campaign seeks to stop industrial port expansion, support strong laws and funding to cut farm pollution, and turn down the heat on the Reef by encouraging investment in renewable energy. At no other time has the Reef needed our help more. Fight for the Reef is a partnership between the Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF-Australia. We re working with people who love the Reef along the Queensland coast, across Australia and all over the world who all want to see it protected. 23 Jan 2013 WWF and the Australian Marine Conservation Society join forces to fight for the Reef. 6 June 2013 Trawler goes to ground on Great Barrier Reef, highlighting the risk of increased shipping. 25 August 2013 Thousands gather in Brisbane to Rally for the Reef. 15 Oct 2013 Polling finds 80% of people want dredging on the Reef banned. 18 June 2014 World Heritage Committee meeting in Doha puts Australia on notice to take stronger action to protect the Great Barrier Reef. 17 Nov 2014 US President Barack Obama says Australia needs to do more to protect the Reef. 1 Feb 2015 Queenslanders vote to protect the Reef, electing a Government with the first Minister for the Great Barrier Reef. 30 May 2015 World Heritage Committee puts Australia "on probation" over the Reef. 4 June 2015 Sustainable Ports Development Bill introduced to Queensland Parliament.


March 2016 Coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef.
More intense cyclones can destroy and weaken the reef structure. More extreme rainfall events will send more freshwater and sediment further out from the coast and on to the Reef. Greater risk of heat stress and mass coral bleaching. Ocean acidification Changes in the ocean's chemistry can decrease the capacity of corals to build skeletons, decreasing their capacity to create habitat for the Reef's marine life.


Since the late 18th century, the oceans have absorbed about 30% of the additional carbon dioxide that human activities have injected into the atmosphere. This extra CO in the oceans has changed their chemistry, a process known as ocean acidification, with the pH of oceans decreasing. Higher seas can impact many areas including coastal erosion, the size of storm surges and the area available for shallow water marine organisms. Small changes in sea levels will mean land inundation which will cause significant changes in tidal habitats such as mangroves and saltwater intruding into low-lying freshwater habitats. Facing these and other natural and human-induced pressures, coral reefs will be more vulnerable to coral bleaching, disease, and tropical cyclones.

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