Threats

Threats

Climate change is the greatest threat facing the reef and a challenge we must all tackle together. The growing combination of rising water temperatures, poorer water quality from sediment run-off and pollution, as well as more severe cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, are just some of the threats creating a perfect storm for our Reef and the marine life that depends on it.

Climate change

Climate change

Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, threatening its very existence.

Water quality

Water quality

Increasing sediment, nutrients and contaminants, combined with rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification are damaging the Reef.

Crown of Thorns Starfish

Crown of Thorns Starfish

When the coral-eating starfish appear in outbreak proportions, the impact on coral reefs can be disastrous.

Turtle returning from nesting at Raine Island

Coastal development

As Queensland continues to grow, so does development along the coast and islands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Region.

Coral bleaching at Lizard Island

#The cumulative effect

of these threats weakens the Reef’s resilience, affecting its ability to recover from serious disturbances predicted
to become more frequent in the future.

The good news

#The good news

is that coral reefs are naturally resilient. By reducing threats and minimising impacts we enable reefs to naturally recover, even from the most damaging of tropical cyclones, such as Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

The effects

#The effects

are already being seen in many parts of our Reef, and without help the outlook is bleak.

Saving the Reef

#Saving the Reef

is a huge task, but it’s one that Australia can and must meet. There’s no alternative, but there is hope.