Imagine taking a trip to the Great Barrier Reef without leaving your home or office.
A new 360-degree video launched today gives users a virtual tour of the Reef, while showcasing our actions to protect it.
The Reef is one of the best managed world-heritage properties. It remains a popular tourist attraction that also supports jobs, communities and the economy.
The Reef is facing challenges, but Australia is investing significantly and taking increased action to protect it now and into the future.
Dive into our 360-degree video to see the Reef for yourself, learn about the different threats it is facing and how we are addressing them.
Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef - one of the world’s natural wonders.
The Reef is part of Australia’s national identity.
It is also inextricably linked to the heritage of Australia’s First Nations peoples – the Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef area.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and the biggest living structure on the planet.
It is the equivalent of 70 million football fields – and the same size as Italy or Japan.
It is so large that it can be seen from space.
Protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef is a big and complex job.
The Reef is facing some significant challenges, including impacts from climate change.
But there is hope.
To protect the Reef, Australia is…
- taking increased action on climate change
- investing significantly
- supporting strong partnerships
- and using the latest science and research
Improving the quality of water flowing to Great Barrier Reef is one of the most important things we can do to protect it.
Here you can see water carrying sediment from the Reef catchments out towards the Reef.
This sediment has run-off from land within the catchments.
Sediment and nutrient run-off contributes to poor water quality.
This can impact on the Reef’s ecosystem and its resilience to other threats.
To address this, a range of projects run by farmers, landholders and other partners are reducing sediment and nutrient run-off to improve water quality on the Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of more than 3000 coral reefs and is home to hundreds of species of coral.
To help the Reef’s coral resist, adapt to and recover from the impacts of climate change, Australia invests in projects that use world-leading science.
These projects include:
- testing ways to make coral more resilient to warmer waters
- and using coral propagation to produce large numbers of corals in a facility and then placing them on the Reef.
This is an area of the Reef that we are helping to restore.
If you look closely, you can see star-shaped structures among the coral.
These structures have coral fragments attached to them.
They provide a stable base for the coral fragments to grow, which helps improve coral cover in damaged areas of the Reef.
Another big concern for coral on the Reef is the crown-of-thorns starfish.
They feed on coral and are a major cause of coral decline across the Reef over the past 40 years.
To reduce their numbers, professionally trained divers manually cull the starfish by injecting them with bile salts or household vinegar.
This has helped to protect large areas of the Reef from this invasive pest.
Science is also helping us look at ways to improve our management of the crown-of-thorns starfish.
There are nearly 9000 different species of marine life on the Great Barrier Reef, including fish, turtles, whales, sharks and rays.
If you look down, you’ll see one of the six species of marine turtle that can be found on the Reef.
One of the key threats to the Reef’s marine life is pollution. This includes plastics and other marine debris.
To reduce the amount of plastics and other debris entering the Reef, Australia invests in a range of clean up events and educational programs.
This helps to protect our precious marine life – like the turtles you see nesting around you. It also ensures tourists can continue enjoying the Reef’s clean waters.
Because the Reef is so large and complex, it is important to support everyone to do their part to protect it.
Australia’s investments are empowering people to care for the Reef through strong partnerships and collaboration.
This is supporting First Nations peoples, Tourism Operators, scientists, community and a range of other partners to take action.
There’s a role for everyone. We can all do our part.
All of this work supports Australia’s Reef 2050 plan, which is the overarching framework for protecting and managing the Reef.
Australia is committed to ensuring the Reef remains one of the best managed world heritage properties.
By working together, we can protect the Great Barrier Reef.