Implications for communities
According to the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009, several current activities in coastal catchments are not environmentally sustainable. Nor are they economically sustainable, given the high value placed on maintaining an intact and functional reef ecosystem.
The effects of agricultural run-off on water quality are well documented. Particular risks and threats arising from the estimated more than four-fold increase in sediments and nutrients since European settlement and the loss of catchment wetland areas are understood by managers.
Changes to the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem could reduce fish populations and this will have serious economic implications for coastal communities and reef-dependent industries such as tourism and fishing.
Enjoyment of the area can sometimes be affected by algal blooms and decreased underwater visibility. If the quality of water entering the ecosystem continues to impact nearshore habitats it may lead to decreased visitor satisfaction and numbers.
A decline in coastal habitats as a result of polluted water will have social implications for industries and coastal communities.
Traditional Owners are concerned that rising temperatures will alter the seasonality and availability of marine resources and lead to the loss of some species.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.