Coral Bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef continues to be a world-class destination as the world's largest natural reef and its significance to its resident coral and marine species. The beautiful and amazing marine life that call the Great Barrier Reef home hold huge significance to worldwide marine diversity and scientists continue to learn new things about the life of the Reef everyday.
Unfortunately, this natural phenomenon remains at risk of mass coral bleaching which is caused by an environmental imbalance and stress from a variety of impacts. These influencing factors include climate change, pollution, run-off and sea temperature fluctuation. This sensitive eco-system is said to be at serious risk as further bleaching and eventual coral death on a huge scale if these factors continue to be in play.
Climate change and other environmental triggers are said to be the leading cause of coral bleaching, and in a bid to combat this, many environmental groups including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority are taking steps to save the reef.
At present the Great Barrier Reef is in good health, with plenty of beautiful reefs to explore and enjoy that have been minimally affected by bleaching, if at all. The Whitsundays are home to many beautiful undisturbed reefs, where guests of day and overnight trips can snorkel or scuba dive to enjoy their beauty and marine life. We can do our part to take care of the Great Barrier Marine Park by ensuring we respect the reef and help maintain its health. It's important to never disrupt the reef by touching, kicking or standing on it. Use stinger suits or wet suits to protect yourself again the sun, rather than sunscreen, which can leave toxins in the reef. Never litter and ensure that you never leave anything behind while in the park. Always listen to the advice of your tour operators, hosts and skippers, who will tell you how you can best protect the reef for future generations.