Why is the Great Barrier Reef important?

+60 votes
asked Aug 5, 2015 in Science by HansHammack6 (270 points)
I need to write up on an essay on the Great Barrier Reef. Why is the Great Barrier Reef important? Other than being a massive all natural structure. Historical and cultural significance? I’m not sure what to write about. I could use a little help on the research.

3 Answers

+23 votes
answered Aug 28, 2015 by DelmarBalke (390 points)
The Great Barrier Reef is important because it is an ecosystem on its own. As the name suggests, it is the world’s biggest coral reef, built entirely by living creature and the only colony of life that can be seen on Earth from the moon. As one of the world’s natural wonders, the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef is a fascinating piece of life, 2500 separate reefs made up the area, stretching over 2,000 km from the Southern Bundaberg to the Northern tip of the Papua New Guinea continental shelf. It’s big enough to be categorized to its own 540 islands, of which has two distinct types, coral cay and continental, all in a land mass that could contain close to 5 Japan, 7 Britain and the size of half a Texas.
+10 votes
answered Sep 10, 2015 by DesmondMahon (350 points)
I agree, the Great Barrier Reef is an ecosystem on itself, supporting the world’s greatest concentration of marine life in the planet as we know. 15,000 fish species, 350 kinds of coral, molluscs made up 4,000 of the species type and 10,000 on just the species of sponges. It is also the breeding area for seabirds, dugongs, sea turtles and humpback whales. Not only that, hundreds of algaes species and seaweeds all live on the reef, becoming a vital part of the reef life. It’s a habitat and shelter for millions of marine organisms.
commented Sep 17, 2015 by Dina (530 points)
Hey, I like marine organisms. It could be a good angle to pick when explaining why is the Great Barrier Reef important. Thanks for the inspiration.
+1 vote
answered Aug 17, 2015 by BritneyThurg (270 points)
The Great Barrier Reef is important for the economy, being used for business ventures and helps the growth of the surrounding city. The giant ecosystem itself protect coastlines from getting run down by storms and waves, as the reefs slow them down, allowing the government to not build man-made sea breaks that might damage the sea. The fishing industry too relies on the millions of fishes that spawns in there and spend their juvenile years, before making it to the open sea. 1.5 Billion dollars are generated yearly for Australia from the fishing and, of course, the tourism that it brought it and improves the economies surrounding the reefs. Due to the sheer size and diversity of it, there is still much to learn from the giant coral reef colony, being a home to such abundance of species, new species and even cures for diseases are waiting to be discovered. We need to maintain the Great Barrier Reef since it affects the livelihood of many and the potential discovery for the future.
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