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Why do we need coral reefs? 

Why do we need coral reefs? 

Q: Why do we need coral reefs?  

A lot of money is being spent on saving the Great Barrier Reef. Why are coral reefs so important? 

Kate, Perth. 

A: The survival of our planet depends on healthy coral reefs. They’re home to a quarter of the ocean’s marine life, generate clean air and protect vulnerable coastlines from erosion, flooding and storms.  

In Australia, our Great Barrier Reef is an irreplaceable and crucial part of our ecosystem – and our economy.  

Made up of 3,000 individual reefs, it protects our coastlines and is home to thousands of species of marine life including fish, whales, dolphins and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle.  

The Great Barrier Reef is also one of the largest carbon sinks in the world. Its mangroves and seagrasses absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it, cleaning our air and helping mitigate the effects of climate change.  

As well as its important environmental benefits, our Reef attracts more than two million tourists a year, contributes $6.4bn to the Australian economy and supports 64,000 jobs. 

Want to know more? Find out why our irreplaceable Reef is so important here

Got a Reef question? Email share@barrierreef.org 

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