Ecotourism: the Great Barrier Reef

By Kristie L'Ecuyer

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral system in the world, stretching over 1,616 miles along the northeast coast of Australia. It is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and covers 900 islands, incorporating about 3,000 individual reefs.

The Importance

The Great Barrier Reef is important because it:

- provides essential protection for harbors and beaches

- is an important recreational and aesthetic resource for visitors and locals

- is home to a large number of marine species

- serves as a laboratory for scientists and yields many sources of biomedical chemicals

"Ecotourism is the responsible travel to natural areas in order to help conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people." -Ecotourism Australia

My Stance

Through this research, I have learned how crucial it is that ecotourists take responsibility for their actions, abide by the high marine tourism standards set by local authorities, and understand the danger of interfering with such a sensitive ecosystem.