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Preserving the Great Barrier Reef

September 2001
Great Barrier Reef Menu
Achievement Task


It seems our most fragile and biologically diverse ecosystems, namely tropical rainforests and coral reefs, are often overlooked and neglected by many people because the majority of the world’s population is not located close enough to these ecosystems to be directly affected by them on a daily basis.  The importance of these areas however goes far beyond the people who do live close to them.  Your job is to investigate coral reefs, the damage being done to them and why it is important to preserve them, even if they are located thousands of kilometers away. 

Part A:  Research the Issue

  1. Is coral living?  Explain. Identify the kingdom, phylum, and class corals are found in.

  2. What is the most important habitat feature of a coral reef?

  3.  List four reasons why coral reefs are important. Search for and document supporting information for each of these four reasons.

  4. Coral reefs provide a base for a delicate and diverse ecosystem.  What are the major threats to coral reefs.  

  5. List the ways human actions have adversely affected coral reefs. 

  6. What effects does global warming have on coral reefs?

  7. Coral reefs in the Philippines are being destroyed by a deplorable method of fishing.  Describe how they are attempting to catch fish and how it is affecting the coral reef.

  8. List some natural disturbances that can cause damage to coral reefs

  9. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is respected world-wide as an organization which has successfully managed one of the world’s most important and diverse ecosystems.  They have developed a critical issues approach to protecting the area.  List the critical issues they describe.

  10. The protection plan for coral reefs depends on many different levels of government, industry, and community groups.  Identify different areas that need to be addressed to help ensure this important biologically diverse ecosystem remains healthy.

Part B: Create a Presentation                                                            

Use the information you have researched to create a slide show presentation using Corel Presentations or PowerPoint which outlines the importance of coral reefs, the damage being done to them, and what can be done to ensure the preservation of coral reefs for many years to come.

Note: Photos which can be used to enhance your presentation can be found at the following websites:




Last Modified 11/04/2001