The Great Barrier Reef receives more than two million visitors every single year.
It’s an Australian treasure and one of the country’s most iconic attractions. In total, the area is covered by 2,900 reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral clays, and 150 inshore mangrove islands. But, according to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the reef is under threat and we need to act fast to help preserve its beauty and its habitats.
In less than 30 years, the huge coral reef system (which is the world’s largest), has suffered a 50% decline in coral coverage. Whilst a number of conservation projects have helped to restore the reef, the rate of decline is frighteningly fast and continues to be a major threat.
Ways to Save the Great Barrier Reef
As responsible tourists, we can all do our bit to help. Here are a few ways you can help to preserve the Great Barrier Reef during your time in Australia:
1. Join Greenpeace
Join the Greenpeace movement by making a donation or starting a fundraising project. You can easily fundraise at work or at school, or start your own event entirely through their Everyday Hero Program.
2. Stay in an Eco Resort
Choosing to stay in an eco resort whilst visiting the GBR isn’t going to be the cheapest travel option. But if you’re not a strict budget, paying a little extra can ensure that you have a reduced impact on the environment during your stay.
Some eco-friendly resorts to stay at include:
3. Volunteer Your Time
Volunteer your time on Lady Elliot Island and help to study manta rays. This is a great way of giving back during your travels.
4. Choose Public Transport
Use buses, trains and coach travel instead of hiring a car to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution. If you really need a car, hire an electric car instead.
5. Eat Responsibly
Over-fishing is one of the causes of the reef’s decline, so eating sustainably sourced food is important. You will find a number of eco eateries in all regions of Oz, though Sydney in particular is great for organic and eco-friendly cafes.
6. Shop Responsibly
Oz is also known for its many eco-fashion labels, such as Vege Threads, Pure Pod, Jude, Eva Cassis, The Ark Clothing Co., Rant Clothing, and Mirador. Swimwear brand, We Are Handsome, is also teaming up with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation on an SS18 style project to raise awareness and money.
8. Conserve Water
Using less water in the home or in your hotel room is a great way of showing respect to the reef. Conserving how much water you use reduces runoff and wastewater, which pollute the ocean.
8. Support Fight the Reef
Sign up to the Fight the Reef cause and stand up against coral reef bleaching and industrial port expansion.
9. Tell the World
Raising awareness is important if you want to save the Great Barrier Reef. You can do your bit by spreading the word on social media. The Global Coral Agency provides royalty-free images that you can use on any platform.