Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system. The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.
It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction.It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc.
A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use.Climate change, pollution, crown-of-thorns starfish and fishing are the primary threats to the health of this reef system.The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions.In November 2014, Google launched Google Underwater Street View in 3D of the Great Barrier Reef.Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating over AUD$3 billion per year.Due to its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and accessibility from the tourist boats called "live aboards",
The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland in 2006.It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world in 1997. Australian World Heritage places included it in its list in 2007.