Effects Queensland Has on the Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef and most diverse place on the planet. Located off the coast of Queensland in Australia, it is the only living thing on Earth visible from space. Stretching 1,250 miles and made up of 3,000 different reefs, the Great Barrier Reef contains over 400 species of coral, 1,800 species of fish, 5,000 types of mollusks, 125 species of sharks/rays, 30 species of whales/dolphins and 6 out of 7 endangered sea turtles. All of these organisms support the naturally expanding and eroding Great Barrier Reef. However, human impact is causing the vulnerable Reef to change at too fast of a rate, and recovery is uncertain. The intensity of human actions in Queensland has not only affected the corals, but all of the ecosystems and organisms in it. For over a decade, Queensland's rapid agricultural, coastal and mining development has been severely diminishing the Great Barrier Reef and its organisms, and is threatening the Reef's future existence. Even though only 9% of the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystems are covered in coral, there are 14 other ecosystems that are all essential to the Reef's functions. These ecosystems provide important links between land, freshwater and marine environments, as well as feeding and breeding grounds for many marine species (Great Barrier Reef Coastal Ecosystems). Any changes to or loss of these coastal ecosystems from human actions disturbs the ecology of the Great Barrier Reef. The framework of the reefs is formed by coral polyps that live together in colonies inside the coral. Besides the polyps, small fish and other organisms use the Reef as protection from predators. However, coral coverage on the Reef has fallen nearly 50% between 1985 and 2012 (Great Barrier Reef). This is due to poor water quality caused by human development in Queensland which affects the health,

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