I first visited the great barrier reef when I was 9 years old. The immediate love affair that began then led me to work on Lizard Island on the northern end of the reef 10 years later. I have visited and dived on this natural world wonder many times in the years since. The bleaching and death of the reef I witnessed in May 2017 is simply devastating.
The images I exhibit here are from the Flynn and Norman Reefs located on the outer reef off Cairns. These are the sad, but beautiful remains of what was once the crown jewel of the Great Barrier Reef.
The white coral you can see is stressed from abnormally high water temperatures and rising acidity levels. The brown algae covered parts are the results of the previous years massive bleaching event. The anemone pictured is in very bad health, but can recover. The banded anemone fish has no anemone to shelter in other than the skeletons stag horn coral.
This is an absolute travesty.
While we are well aware of the causes, we are continuing to perpetuate the problem with tired old unenlightened ways of thinking. Change is imperative and needs to happen yesterday.
What can you do?
Reduce your dependancy on petrochemicals. Single use plastics and plastic waste in general is one of the greatest threats to our planet’s health. Monitor your daily plastic wastage. Buy, grow and source your own foods as locally as possible. Ride your bike or walk there.
Relax. Sit down and enjoy your coffee. It tastes so much better from porcelain or glass. Takeaway coffee cups have a plastic lining that is not only harmful to the environment but to you too. Bring your own cup if you simply must have coffee whilst moving.
Read the ingredients of any product you use in the shower or kitchen. Search any of the unfamiliar ingredients you find and it’s highly likely that you wont be willing to use them on yourself or family, and even less have them find their way in to the ocean.
Renewable energy sources are the key to the health of the entire planet and it’s inhabitants. Take the initiative and let the dinosaurs follow. Make changes now. Install solar power, switch to ethanol and just use less electricity. It simply costs the earth.