Reefs- Gone for Good?

Tourism Constructions are Destroying Sacred Reefs

This is the Great Barrier Reef.

A beautiful place with unique creatures. And some? Some could soon be extinct.

Construction of tourist places is destroying this complex ecosystem.

Tourism allows anyone to visit this wonderful place.

Sounds great, right?

Not quite.

These are reefs that have been damaged.

And soon, the Great Barrier Reef could look just like these.

So, why is the Great Barrier Reef so special?

The Great Barrier Reef has a unique ecosystem, and spreads over a vast surface. It is the world's largest reef.

"The extensive seagrass beds are an important feeding ground for the dugong, a mammal species internationally listed as vulnerable. ...The reef contains nesting grounds of world significance for the endangered loggerhead turtle, and for green, hawksbill and flatback turtles, which are all listed as vulnerable. It is also a breeding area for humpback whales that come from the Antarctic to give birth in the warm waters."

As the quote from <> shows, the reef supplies for vulnerable and endangered animals, so destroying the reef hurts endangered and protected animals.

Human Activities

Over-fishing, pollution, global warming, and other human activities greatly impact the reef. More than a fifth of the world's reefs have been destroyed from human activities, and are not recovering. A quarter of the reefs are endangered.

Benefits of Healthy Reefs

Having healthy reefs improves the economy (opening up jobs), food for locals (especially for small island communities), protection (slowing down destructive waves from coastal cities), and medicine (potential to cure many diseases). And these are only the main benefits. It is in humanities best interest to keep nature, including coral reefs, healthy.

Tourism and its Effects

The coral can be broken off very easily, so tourists are breaking fragile pieces off of the reef, possibly without knowing it. Tourism helps the economy, but its gains are not worth the damage to the reefs. More than half of the world's reefs are at medium or high risk, and a better economy is not worth killing off such an important part of nature. The tourism boats also leave behind pollution, which is harmful to the environment. The number of people swimming with sunscreen or similar products is also harmful to the reef.
So, all of these are important reasons why the tourism opening should not be built. It harms the environment, and the environment is very important for several reasons. Help protect the environment, make your mark.