A few days ago, everyone was caught off guard when this obituary declaring the death of the Great Barrier Reef after 25 million years came out. The said obituary noted that a catastrophic bleaching has rendered the reef to look like a war zone.
The good news is, experts and scientists debunked the obituary, clarifying that while the Great Barrier Reef has suffered from bleaching, it is dying (and not dead), and can still be saved. Then again, the operative word is "dying." We really hope environmental conservationists get to save the Great Barrier Reef. So many things we'll miss out on if the worst happens...
No more marine friend sightings. Fancy seeing a “Nemo” (a clownfish) and a “Dory” (a blue tang) someday? You might not be able to see these often photographed creatures if we don’t take action in protecting the Great Barrier Reef, as coral bleaching creates a big compromise to marine life. This also applies to the seafood that we eat, as marine species depending on these coral reefs can soon become a scarcity.
The vibrant colors of the sea will be gone. With bleaching affecting parts of the Great Barrier Reef, there might come a time when divers exploring the area will see nothing but white rubble of dead corals, like an underwater ghost town. This is bad news for tourism as well, what with one of the world's seven wonders ceasing to exist.
It will be hard to visit our favorite destinations near it. Combine the declining health of the Great Barrier Reef with climate change, travel destinations near the Great Barrier Reef will be more difficult to visit with threats of extreme weather events. For instance, the damage caused by cyclone Yasi five years ago, was so substantial that the Great Barrier Reef and various towns in Queensland, the Australian state closest to the Great Barrier Reef, became challenging to visit.
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Illustration by Jana Jimenez