The Great Barrier Reef's environmental pressures include lowered water quality from runoff including suspended sediment, excess nutrients, pesticides, and fluctuations in salinity. The effects of climate change, including increased temperatures, storms and coral bleaching. Cyclic outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish, overfishing which disrupts food chains, and shipping routes which can result in oil spills or improper ballast discharge also damage the reef.
Water quality was first identified as a threat to the Great Barrier Reef in 1989.Thirty "major rivers" and hundreds of small streams comprise the Great Barrier Reef catchment area, which covers of land. Queensland has several major urban centres on the coast including Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and the industrial city of Gladstone. Cairns and... Read More