Saturday, June 18, 2016

The reef that was

Lizard Island National Park is the only continental island group close to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
Many years ago in June, I had the privilege of visiting Lizard Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Spending time in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

I feel fortunate to have visited at a time when the Great Barrier Reef was still astonishingly pristine. I was amazed to learn that the reefs are about 8,500 years old and sit above layers of reef and alluvium dating back at least 2 million years. 

Much as I would like to return, I know the sight of the now bleached corals would be extremely disheartening. Ocean acidification is one of our most urgent climate change concerns and at this writing, very little is being done to address it.

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