Professional scientists will receive help from the citizen scientists to establish the damage extent on the Great Barrier Reef caused by the massive coral bleaching and to develop better strategies to address this issue.
This initiative involves citizens who learn how to capture coral images and count fish living in the waters around the Queensland’s coastline. After gathering this information, they will send it to government agencies and scientists using internet tools.
Fortunately, around 50 officials from many major companies such as BHP Billiton, Qantas, and Google joined their efforts to improve the current situation of Lady Elliot Island which is the southernmost area of the Great Barrier Reef.
Their initiative has been coordinated by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation during the Reef Blitz month, a charity project aiming to count all species of marine creatures and to photograph the coral.
A high number of animal species, including butterfly fish, sea slugs, and clams, indicate the reef is healthy, whereas the opposite situation would point out that the reef suffered significant damage due to the bleaching event.
According to Peter Gash, managing director of the Eco Resort in Lady Elliot Island, the southern parts are currently safe compared with northern areas where the damage extent is way larger. He also stressed that citizen’s initiative turned out to be a life-saver for the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef extends over an area of 344,000 square kilometers, meaning that it is longer than Italy or Japan. However, according to statistics, around 90 percent of the Barrier Reef has been affected by the massive coral bleaching, especially due to the rising temperatures of this year.
Anna Marsden with the GBR Foundation said that many local communities showed their concern by participating in this project. They did more than understanding this phenomenon as they also collected valuable data about the marine species.
What is more interesting is that they all had fun doing this. Scientists underline that it is not too late to preserve and help the Great Barrier Reef to recover. This can be possible only if air and water pollution will stop.
Human excess led to this bleaching event because air pollution has brought a significant contribution to climate change. That is why this initiative will continue to raise awareness about the current situation of the Great Barrier Reef.
Image Source: Blogspot
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