The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN has labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust has named it a state icon of Queensland.
The management of the Great Barrier Reef is very complex. It is based on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
In 1975 the Government of Australia created the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and made rules that makes certain activities were prohibited on the Great Barrier Reef. The park is managed, with the help of the Government of Queensland, through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure that the rules are followed. A usage of prohibited zones, management plans, special permits and awareness of the importance of the site are used in the effort to conserve the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef has great global importance. As the world's largest coral reef ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef is a critical global resource.
Although coral reefs initially made the area famous, it comprises an extraordinary and rare variety of other plant and animal communities, habitats and their associated ecological processes, ranging from fringing coastal reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, sandy and coral cays, sandy or muddy bottom communities, continental islands, and deep open ocean areas.
The Government roles of the Great Barrier Reef are plenty. They range from transport to and from the marine park, education programs, fundraising, research, protection areas and so forth. They also check water quality, try their best to protect the site from climate change and make sure the area isn't vandalised.
Groups that help the Great Barrier Reef are James Cook University, The University Of Queensland, Department Of Environment and Water Resources, Australian Institute Of Marine Science, Bureau Of Meteorology and much more. They help by providing weather details, reports on water quality, financial assistances and organization and a lot of important things that is crucial for the site.
The Great Barrier Reef's location is in the Coral Sea, the area of the Pacific close to Australia's North East coast. With over 1000 islands which are easily accessible from North Queensland and coastal cities like Cairns and Port Douglas. The coral islands are very popular tourist attractions. Some even have varied vegetation including rainforest and are encircled by the coral reefs.