The Australian government will spend 500 million Australian dollars ($ 380 million) in the upcoming years to restore and protect the Great Barrier Reef. The funds will be used to restore the coral reef, improve water quality, fight pests and increase coral resistance to higher temperatures and brighter light.
The world’s largest coral reef system, larger than Italy’s is one of the world’s largest biodiversity ecosystems and home to millions of marine life forms. In recent years, it suffers from the invasion of sea stars, known as the “crown-of-thorns starfish,” ocean oxidation, and a phenomenon where corals bleach as a result of high temperatures.
“The reef sustains 64,000 jobs and it brings the economy over $ 6 billion and attracts more than two million visitors a year,” Environment Minister Josh Friedenberg said on the ABC. “This is a natural, national and international icon and that is why we are determined to keep it for future generations,” he added.