4 Ways You Can Protect the Great Barrier Reef

4 Ways You Can Protect the Great Barrier Reef

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/22/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

How can you protect the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come?

  • 1. Choose Eco-Friendly Operators

    When you’ve decided that you’re going to visit the Great Barrier Reef, the next question you’ll need to ask yourself is- who will you travel with? There are plenty of operators to choose from when you’re shopping around for tours, however, you should be picking those who are eco-friendly and realise the impact that their tours can have on the wellbeing of the reef. So, what are you searching for in environmentally friendly operators? Those who practice ways to decrease climate change is a good start. You’ll find some tours include talks with marine biologists so that while you’re enjoying the beauty of the reef, you can delve a little deeper into why the reef needs to be protected. You’ll also want to search for companies who might offset their carbon emissions, or support conservation projects and charities by donating.

  • 2. Small Changes can Create a Big Impact

    One of the most helpful ways you can protect the Great Barrier Reef and the marine life that lives in it, is to limit your use of plastic. It’s estimated that around 8 million pieces of plastic will end up in the oceans every day around the world. This means that every day, unnecessary deaths of marine life occur due to the amount of plastic that finds their way into wildlife zones. This can be easily prevented if you take a proactive approach to abandon plastic. This could mean using re-useable bags, buying in bulk, shopping at farmers markets and only purchasing seafood that is sustainably sourced. When you’re on the Great Barrier Reef, make a conscious effort to take back any rubbish that you might make and throw it away correctly.

  • 3. Donate and Support Organisations

    There is a multitude of organisations, foundations and charities that place a huge emphasis or have a focus on the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is one of these organisations that bring together people from different fields of work to create new ideas on how to protect the reef and fund projects to rehabilitate the damaged reef and prevent further destruction. You can take action by joining the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. Their online program allows you to keep track of your actions such as not using plastic straws, sponsoring divers or not using plastic bags and the real-time benefit on the Great Barrier Reef.

  • 4. Etiquette on the Great Barrier Reef

    So, you’ve finally made it out onto the Great Barrier Reef! To keep the reef in a healthy state, there are a couple of things you can do to be proactive. The first is wearing a wetsuit to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun, and not using sunscreen as the chemicals can damage the coral life. If you do want to use sunscreen, always go for the organic kind. To not injure both yourself and the coral, don’t swim or touch any active coral as some can be sharper than you might expect and can hurt the living organism. Finally, leave the reef untouched, souvenirs can be purchased in shops, so don’t bring back anything from the underwater oasis that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Related article: The Marine Biology of the Great Barrier Reef

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.