Great Barrier Reef Australia: Coral Bleaching & What We Can Do
Nature Conservation,  Oceania,  Sustainable Activity

Great Barrier Reef Australia: Coral Bleaching & What We Can Do

The Great Barrier Reef Australia is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the world and it is a top tourist destination for water sports in the country. Whether it’s the Great Barrier Reef fish, the unique shapes of coral, the other variations of sea creatures or simply just being in the Great Barrier Reef snorkeling, it’s a place that shouldn’t be missed. Unfortunately, due to so many people heading out to see the Great Barrier Reef Australia there have been a few problems that progressively seem to be getting worse that you should be aware of. Due to the number of tourists (especially those using sunscreen in the dangerous Australian sun), many of the local coral is getting damaged and turning white. This is known as “bleaching”.

The problem with coral bleaching is that it is essentially killing the coral and other natural plant species found in the area, which in turn can lead to the Great Barrier Reef fish looking elsewhere for shelter and food sources. Most of this bleaching comes from the chemicals in sunscreen and general over tourism from beauty products and people touching the reef during their Great Barrier reef Snorkeling experiences.

What can we do to help as travelers?

As travelers, it can be really difficult to avoid overtourism when generally speaking, the most popular tourist destinations are popular for a specific reason. The Great Barrier Reef Australia is no exception, it’s a highly sought after destination due to its unmatched beauty. So how do environmentally friendly tourists avoid adding to the damage during their Great Barrier Reef snorkeling trips? 

Reef safe sunscreen

When choose sunscreen, you should make sure to only use beauty products or skin protection that is specifically safe for the reef and environment. For example, using Great Barrier Reef safe products that won’t pour toxic chemicals into the ocean is one way to prevent further damage and to slow down the rate of coral bleaching.

Don’t touch anything

Also, be careful at all times and make sure not to kick the coral or any other living things during your visit. If you harm the wildlife they may start avoiding the area through fear or through being hurt. This includes the Great Barrier Reef fish and sea creatures found throughout the region. 

Be selective of tours

Finally, when choosing a tour, make sure you’re only contributing companies that care about the protection of the environment and not just looking for a quick sale. By researching and choosing tour operators that can offer you a fun experience of Great Barrier Reef snorkeling without overpopulating specific areas and without using harsh fuels for their boats, the environment will be less impacted.

It can seem like you have a lot of restrictions when trying to find the right Great Barrier Reef Australia experience, but for the sake of a little extra time doing some research before the trip, you’ll be doing more than you know to help the greater good. If everyone took the time to “do their part” the damage to the reef could slowly improve over time.

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