On this leg of our journey we will be visiting the Great Barrier Reef. We will be seeing nature in all its glory. As we all know the Great Barrier Reef is a great place to go scuba diving and to do other
water sports. But there is so much more you can see and do and learn. We’re going to learn all about the reef and how it got its start. Plus, we can see how we can protect the Great Barrier.
So, what are reefs made of? Coral reefs are found in oceans and seas around the world. They are found on limestone rocks and there are three different types of coral that can be found. They are the fringing, barrier, and atolls. All of them have there own distinct characteristics. Fringing reefs are coral reefs that touch the shoreline of a volcanic island. Barrier reefs are separated from the shore by area of shallow water called a lagoon. The land that barrier reef usually surrounds have sunk farther into the ocean, then the island that fringing surround. Atoll reefs are in the shape of a ring. This type of reef surrounds an island that has sunk beneath the surface of the ocean. Now that we have some back round on coral reefs, lets look at the Great Barrier reef.
The Great Barrier Reef lies in the Coral Sea of the coast of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is the longest coral reef in the world. The barrier reef is actually made up of a series of coral island, reefs, and shoals that extend north to southeast for more than 1,250mi (Great Barrier Reef,2007).the coral formations which include more than 350 species of coral are based on the outer, eastern edge of the continental shelf , which was once apart of the Queensland coast. The reef consist mostly of the calcified remains of coral polyp built up in strange and beautiful formations over hundreds of thousands of years(Great Barrier Reef,2007).
Some recent studies show that the reef is about 600,000 years old. There is a lagoon that lies between the main reef and the mainland. In this shallow water lies about a hundred or so islands, which may have coral cays, other summits of a drowned coastal mountain range.
Sense 1998 about 60% of the reef have been affect by coral bleaching due to rising temperatures and fresh water flooding. With the temperatures rising some people are concerned that huge sections of the reef would become unable to support sea life. In the early 21st century, mounting environmental concerns led the Australian government to introduce measures designed to reduce the chemicals in agricultural runoff and prevent commercial over fishing by extending a ban on commercial and recreational fishing to one third of the reef area (Great Barrier Reef, 2007).
The Great Barrier Reef is home to some incredible scuba diving the area is one of the most diverse under water system to explore in the world. With all the different marine life that you are with it no wonder that so many people flock here year after year. Another great past tine is boating and jet skiing which we will be doing some of today.
Ok let learn some fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef. Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is the only natural structure that you can see from space? I bet you didn’t know this if you cut yourself on coral and you don’t clean it that the coral will grow inside your skin. Here Another cool fact on the Barrier reef. The reef can only live in water 68 degrees or higher. Well I hope you like some of these facts.
All of the things we see here today can be today can be taken away in the blink of an eye. We need to make sure that we need to make sure that we each do our part to protect the Great Barrier Reefs and the world. Coral Reef are on the frontlines It show us how just a little change in the environment can change everything. We want all this beautiful coral and animals to be here for many, many more generations to come. So lets go see the Reef up close and personal.