Great Barrier Reef

By Rachel Shuster

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is a favorite destination of scuba divers, underwater explorers, and lovers of exotic, romantic tropical islands. It is a succession of reefs extending from just south of the Tropic of Capricorn off the Queensland coast to Torres Strait in the north.

Alert people on a boat if you go diving. Divers have been left behind.

  • Hazards in the water: Stingrays, stonefish, and other dangerous creatures are in the water

  • Things to do: Scuba diving and wilderness tours are available.

  • What to bring: lots of sunblock, underwater camera, suitable footwear, strong mosquito repellent, and PADI scuba diving certificate

  • Commercial development restrictions

Great Florida Reef

The only living coral barrier reef in the United States.

  • Recreational boats are used, recreational activities occur in the water, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

  • Beware of what you step on in the water: even the slightest touch to the coral can damage it.

  • Boat anchors have crushed the coral on impact.

  • A long winter season can decrease the temperature to the point where the coral dies. Higher temperatures can also cause coral bleaching. The rise in sea level is a continuing problem in the Florida Reef.

  • The amount of visitors per year should be monitored and restricted because of the problems that may occur in the reef.