Can the Great Barrier Reef Still Be Saved? One Says It’s Dead, The Other Says It Improves, Which One Is True?

By Jeff Villanueva, Posted: 10/18/16 06:30AM EDT

Can coral reef as big as the Great Barrier Reef die? This is the question many people are asking after an obituary was released about the Great Barrier Reef lying off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

Is The Great Barrier Reef Dead?

The article entitled "Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016)" was written by Rowan Jacobsen last week regarding the world's largest living structure dying this year after 25 million years of existence. In the obituary, Jacobsen said that other coral reefs in the world have already died including the Florida Reef off the coast of Florida among other coral reefs on Earth. While it was survived by what could possibly still remains of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef system and some deep water corals.

Jacobsen made several references to renowned marine scientist Charlie Veron of the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Veron is the author of the book, A Reef in Time: The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End, who has constantly reminded the government and the world about the possibilities this Great Barrier Reef might face in the future should people continue to destroy the environment.

But is the world's largest coral reef system really dead? Can the Great Barrier Reef still be saved? These questions were the two hottest questions following the release of the Great Barrier Reef's obituary. And many marine scientists all over the world think that this vast 1,400 miles long, 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands being dead was an overstatement.

The Great Barrier Reef is Not Dead

This article by Jacobsen was in total contrast to what was revealed on the first Reef 2050 Plan annual report recently released by the Australian and Queensland governments. The report said that they are currently showing progress towards protecting the world's largest coral reef.

The report also revealed that the Australian and Queensland governments invested $2 billion to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef adding that the Reef 2050 Plan is a collective effort to protect the reef for the future generations to see. Currently, as the report stated, the collective effort has completed 29 out of 151 action plans and 10 are currently underway as of the middle of 2016.

Taking the cue from the two government's report, there was an improvement to the health of the Great Barrier Reef. And if there were really improvements, then the Great Barrier Reef is definitely not dead after all.

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