The Great Barrier Reef
A special thank you to guest contributor and fellow traveller, Annie Kelly, for shooting and editing this 3 minute video from Briggs Reef off the coast of Cairns in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Shot in February 2020, it shows a variety of soft coral, tropical fish, and other marine wildlife (ignore the video's date stamp - the camera refuses to acknowledge 2020 : - )
Briggs is in the Outer Reef near Cairns. The Outer Reef contains numerous smaller reef patches, and beyond the Outer Reef the continental slope drops off to the Coral Sea. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world's largest living organism.
The fact that the Great Barrier Reef is vulnerable and suffering is not new. We have heard reports of the Reef's decline, particularly through bleaching, for many years now. Plastic in our oceans, climate change, and coastal development, among other preventable human impacts, threaten the GBR's survival. Scientists and environmentalists are calling out for our attention and help. They DO say, go see it! Its beauty is unique and breathtaking. There are a number of tour operators who will take you to the Outer Reef to dive or snorkel BUT be sure to choose one whose main goal is to preserve the Reef. Choose a high standard operator.
You can continue to help save the Great Barrier Reef even when you're home. Organizations like Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute offer ways to help, and educational resources to learn more.
Use #SaveTheReef when you post photos and stories about the GBR on social media.
In the mean time, enjoy the sights (and sounds) of this snippet of the GBR