Australia has just embarked on the costliest coral reef restoration project in history

Just a few weeks ago, researchers revealed how much humanity has destroyed the ocean’s coral reefs. It was an incredibly disastrous report that indicated that rising ocean temperatures were causing a “bleaching” effect that destroyed massive sections of reef that may never be able to recover. Today, Australia is rallying to try to help repair some of the damage to the Great Barrier Reef, pledging more than half a billion Australian dollars (roughly $ 379 million) to a massive effort of recovery.

The Australian government has partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to develop a plan of action and potentially bring back some of the reef’s most stressed areas. Of course, Australia cannot tackle the heat stress of the oceans – this is something the entire human race is going to have to work on – but the effort will focus on the factors it does. can control, such as tackling water pollution and mitigating the effects of coral-eating sea creatures that have invaded parts of the reef.

“There is no doubt that our great living treasure is under the enormous threat of climate change and we must all work together to do everything possible to achieve the Paris Agreement,” said Dr John Schubert, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, in a statement. . “But as the world strives to tackle climate change on a global scale, there are many things we can and must do to build the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef right now.”

The foundation is partnering with scientists and experts to determine how best to use the investment to strengthen what is left of the reef while making conditions as manageable as possible for sections that have already fallen into crisis.

Coral reef “bleaching” occurs when the temperature of the water drives out the tiny organisms that give life to corals. Short episodes are usually recoverable, but repeated and prolonged periods of ocean warming (thanks to climate change and man-made warming) have damaged some sections much worse than what scientists have ever seen before, and it is likely much of it will never bounce back. Nonetheless, Australia will do its best to save on its natural wonders, and hopefully everything will work out.

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