Today we had our lecture on threats to the reef. I don't think one person can fully comprehend the immense impact that humans have on every part of our world. It's like everyone doesn't think about the consequences of any of their actions. I think its hard to be conscious of everyone of your decisions, so most people fall into the default options that are presented easily before them. But we have now realized that those easy choices can not be sustained. In 35 years if we continue on our current path all coral reefs will be dead. Coral reefs are not only a major habitat for a large amount of biodiversity, but they also help with nutrient cycling and so much more important ecosystem services.
Here are 3 ways that you can help to save this beautiful reef and all of the wonderful creatures that I've been able to spend so much time with:
1. Become plastic free.
-The amount of plastic we have found here on the shores of Heron Island alone astounds me. Our chef Pat goes around the island every day collecting trash and has found up to 45lbs of trash and plastic on our small island.
2. Bike more often.
-Not only is biking a healthier alternative to driving, that your body will thank you for later, but it reduces the amount of CO2 that you contribute to our atmosphere. The same atmosphere that we share with our oceans. The continual increase in CO2 has lead to extreme ocean acidification. When CO2 diffuses into oceans it creates carbonic acid and decreases the pH of the ocean. This has immensely harmful effects on ocean ecosystems and the organisms that live within them.
3. Don't eat fish. (or meat)
- I know to some this sounds like an extreme lifestyle change to make, but in reality our oceans are being ridiculously over fished. This over exploitation of resources is not sustainable, due to the size of our population. We our depleting our resource reservoirs quicker than they can be replenished. Eating more a more plant based diet can dramatically help reduce your impact, and is a lot easier to do than it seems.
I personally have loved this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to come and experience the Great Barrier Reef, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. I only hope that one day my grandchildren can do the same. I guess the choice that is ours.