Australia's Great Barrier Reef Under Serious Threat, New Report Shows

Paul /CC BY 2.0

As World Oceans Day approaches, we've heard some unfortunate news about the most iconic reef in the world: the Great Barrier Reef. While we've always held high hopes for the recovery of this amazing and important location, it certainly has had its share of challenges -- and those challenges may be adding up to something that cannot be overcome.

Reuters reports, "Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef is under imminent threat from industrial development and may be considered for listing as a world heritage site "in danger" within the next year, a U.N. report said this week."

With the area set to see as much as a ten-fold increase in shipping traffic and other pressures such as coastal development and the grounding of ships on the reef, the fragile ecosystem is in serious peril.

"Australian organizations managing the reef have adopted high-quality practices, UNESCO said, but noted that 'despite management successes there has been a continuing decline in the quality of some parts' of the reef," states the article.

With ongoing development and industrial activity at odds with conservation efforts, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to see the reef recover to full health. It is also telling of the state of mind we are still in as humans; at what point will the health of the planet take priority and affect how, where, and why we move forward with "development"?

Tags: Conservation | Ecology | Oceans

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