TAG: Great Barrier Reef

Stress Tests for Coral Reefs

Coral stresses

Often called “the rainforests of the ocean”, coral reefs enrich our planet with aquatic life. The coral itself is an animal that hosts a large variety of organisms. They serve as a source of food and shelter to sponges, jellyfish, sea anemones, sea turtles, clams, crabs, shrimp, starfish, oysters and sea urchins – to name a few. Coral reefs are important for a variety of reasons. In addition to providing refuge to marine life, coral reefs protect coastlines against erosion. They also act as sensitive indicators of water quality. This informs us of the overall quality of the eco system…. read more

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Disrupted

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Disrupted

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest coral reef expanse in the world. With almost 3000 different reef systems, it includes more than 900 islands that are home to countless marine life and thousands of other living species, some of which are endangered. It is now also housing some unexpected, intrusive guests. Last week, 2 U.S. military aircraft had to drop 4 inactive bombs close to the Great Barrier Reef area. The emergency drop occurred during a military training exercise that went on longer than planned, and the in flight jets were in danger of running out of… read more

Saving the Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

The world’s largest coral reef with an eco-system is the Great Barrier Reef located off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The eco-system is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs, 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 sq. mi. More than nearly half the reef has vanished in the last 27 years. A coral reef ecologist, Katharina Fabricius, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science told LiveScience that she has been diving to the reef since 1988 and has studied the decline. To gather their data, Fabricius and her colleagues surveyed 214 different reefs near the Great Barrier… read more