In a bid to help save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney government recently announced a $379 million funding plan. Approved by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the initiative will help pay for a number of new protection strategies against environmental dangers such as coral bleaching—a long-term problem that has so far destroyed over 900 miles of the world-heritage ecosystem.
Caused by increasing seas temperatures, bleaching is a stress response from the living corals. They expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to lose their vibrant colors, which turns them completely white. Other major causes include a recent outbreak of coral-eating starfish, called the crown-of-thorns starfish. It spreads its body across the coral and releases a digestive enzyme, which slowly breaks it down.
However, the first cause that the government’s funds will aim to change is the surrounding farming practices. Due to the close proximity of sugar cane and cattle farms to the shore, there are large amounts of industrial agricultural waste that pollutes the ocean and smothers the coral.
Read more from source: Australia Announces $379 Million Funding to Save the Great Barrier Reef