Following the release of the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2019 from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the downgrading of the marine park’s outlook from “poor” to “very poor”, Reef Check Australia is calling on State and Federal Governments, the business sector and individuals to take urgent action to protect our fragile reef systems.
As expected, climate change was named as the most significant threat to the GBR’s long-term outlook and significant global action was deemed critical. As the report in brief outlined, “The Region was at a crossroads in 2009, with an opportunity for its long-term outlook to be improved through timely actions. In 2014, assessments indicated all threats needed to be reduced to prevent the Region’s overall condition worsening from poor. Since then, the outlook for the Region’s ecosystem has become very poor. Climate change is escalating and is the most significant threat to the Region’s long-term outlook.”
“Our volunteer citizen scientists see first hand the pressures of climate change and other human impacts, such as poor water quality, marine debris and unsustainable fishing, and how they are impacting reefs from the North of the Great Barrier Reef all the way to Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast” says Reef Check Australia’s General Manager Joanne Needham “The state of individual reefs are variable but the reality is there is a long term deteriorating trend. Reef Check Australia are calling for increased investment in community programs and citizen science to identify, understand and address the threats to our reef ecosystems.”
Reef Check Australia is the country’s largest volunteer reef science organisation and has been monitoring our reefs for 18 years. “We know that over the last 18 years reef health has deteriorated and continues to do so. If we don’t act to limit climate change and other impacts, there is no doubt that we will be the last generation to see the Great Barrier Reef as it is today” Reef Check Australia’s Chairman, Richard Coleman explains. “Reef Check Australia intends to work harder than ever to ensure that won’t be the case. We will continue to put high quality longitudinal data into the hands of policy makers, in the hopes of sparking actions, our highly trained citizen science volunteers will continue to survey reefs and we’ll use our data to engage with communities and advocate, educate and empower genuine actions to protect our reefs and oceans.”
Reef Check Australia is an innovative environmental charity dedicated to protecting reefs and oceans by empowering people and providing opportunities for individuals, communities and corporations to get involved in reef science and conservation.
Visit reefcheckaustralia.org to find out how to get involved, what changes you can make in your everyday actions to make a difference or set up a monthly donation – any amount no matter how small will help to protect our reefs and oceans.