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Australia's federal government is allotting half a billion dollars to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

Australia Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said large amounts of sediment, nitrogen and pesticide run-off are also destroying the Great Barrier Reef.

"We want to ensure the Reef's future for the benefit of all Australians, particularly those whose livelihood depends on the Reef", the government said in a Sunday statement. This is devastating, because not only is the Great Barrier Reef lovely to admire, the coral reefs are also home to endangered species including the large green turtle.

But researchers and wildlife activists caution that the 1,400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef is now confronting a massive collapse as the global warming raises the water temperature and the acidity of the ocean, resulting in widespread coral bleaching. The investment also involves the implementation of some lab-grown corals which are more resistant to global warming, in comparison with naturally-grown corals.

Climate change also affected the creatures that live in the reef system.

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The Australian Government's largest single investment for the Reef sees a $443.3 million partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to invest in projects to tackle key risks to the Reef and seek co-funding from private investors and philanthropists.

The money will be spent on reducing water pollution from agriculture, fighting coral-killing crown-of-thorns starfish, community engagement, reef monitoring, and research on climate adaptation.

There's no question these efforts will improve the health of this massive reef. We'll be putting money towards better data management so that we understand better what's happening at the Reef, so that we can deal with the challenges. That process makes the coral reefs become white while eliminating their main energy source.

Back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 have devastated a 1,500 km (900 miles) stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the 2016 bleaching event is the worst ever recorded and it has mainly impacted the northern part of the reef.

So this study involved revisiting the same reefs where we documented the bleaching in March, nine months later. It's even visible from space. The reef is worth an estimated $3.7 billion to the Australian economy through fishing and tourism each day. Globally, the reefs form nurseries for a quarter of the world's fish.


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