Australia to Allocate $500Mln to Protect Great Barrier Reef From Climate Change

Budget earmarks $500m to mitigate Great Barrier Reef climate change

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef will receive A$500 million ($379.10 million) in new funding to restore water quality and protect the coral from starfish attacks, government ministers announced on Sunday.

The Turnbull government has committed $500 million to a protection package for the Great Barrier Reef - the largest of its kind in Australian history. "We want to secure the future of the reef for the benefit of all Australians, especially those who make a living with it", said Malcolm Turnbull.

The world's largest coral reef system has lost 30 percent of its coral due to bleaching, which is blamed on climate change and pollution. "Climate change is the number one threat to the Great Barrier Reef and only concerted action to cut pollution will fully protect it".

But researchers and wildlife activists caution that the 1,400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef is now confronting a massive collapse as the global warming raises the water temperature and the acidity of the ocean, resulting in widespread coral bleaching.

"You can not protect the reef from puddles of warm water sitting over the entire northern GBR, together with all of the cyclones that came at the same time which were also climate-related". It also aims to ramp up the fight against coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, and breed coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress.

"We'll be improving the monitoring of the reef's health and the measurement of its impacts", he said from Cairns in Far North Queensland.

Trump again declines to describe mass killings of Armenians as genocide
Erdogan also called on the Armenian community not to allow those who are trying to ignite hatred and hostility by distorting "our shared past".

Climate change also affected the creatures that live in the reef system.

The government, in a partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, will contribute $444 million.

The world's largest coral reef, spanning 133,000 square miles, has endured extreme environmental strain in recent years, to the point that a fake obituary that was written for it in 2016 went viral.

According to Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist: "Science is well aware of what is killing coral on the Great Barrier Reef-it's the excess heat that comes from burning fossil fuels".

Before 2016, there had only been two bleaching events along the Great Barrier Reef in the past two decades, in 1998 and 2002.

It's true that corals' health is more at risk if they are already stressed by bad water quality and predators, so Australia's current efforts aren't entirely pointless. Annually, the reef has a worth of an estimated $3.7 billion, generated through fishing and tourism.

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