The environment movement Defining Moments, 1960s–present
Investigation 1: Thinking about environmentalism
1.2 How do you measure the value of an Australian icon?
1975 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem.
In 1975 the Australian Government made it a Marine Park.
What was so special about this place? What was happening to the reef? And why did the government take this action?
1. Where is the Great Barrier Reef?
2. Why is it significant to people?
3. How long is the Reef?
4. What types of development have threatened the Reef?
5. What attempts have been made to stop these threats?
6. Who ultimately had the power to make laws about the Reef?
7. The decision was made to create a Marine Park. What is a Marine Park?
8. Using the map above and zoning information on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website, and any other research that may be necessary, decide which of these activities are allowed in the Park.
9. The Reef was accepted as a World Heritage area. What does this mean for Australia?
10. Which human activities might have an impact on the Great Barrier Reef environment?
11. Which natural events might have an impact on the Great Barrier Reef?
12. Which of these aspects of civic life helped create today’s legal protections?
13. How might the following aspects of modern life threaten parts of the Reef?
a) Extreme weather
b) Climate change
c) Use of pesticides in farms
d) Development of coastal housing estates
e) Mass tourism
14. What do you think were the key elements in the creation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?
15. Now complete this sentence:
Watch both A Wide Brown Land and A Wide Brown Land interview from the Australian Journey video series to further explore the dangers confronting the Great Barrier Reef.