Species and Habitats Being Saved by Google Earth

Fringing Coral Reef

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google earth coral reef discovery image
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In 2007, a coral reef specialist at West Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation was browsing the waters off northwestern Australia on Google Earth when he noticed a remote area filled with fringing coral reefs -- a very rare type of coral reef that only occurs off the coast of arid locations where no fresh water flows into the sea. They were found in a region called the Kimberley that was largely unexplored due to its inaccessibility, unforgiving waters and crocodiles. This discovery was made at a good time because it could now be given marine conservation status as the region is being considered for oil exploration and drilling.