Great Barrier Reef gets AU$60M in life support – CNET

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Things aren’t looking good for the Great Barrier Reef, with rising water temperatures leading to coral bleaching that has decimated much of the natural wonder. The Australian government on Monday revealed how it’ll help the ailing reef with AU$60 million over the next 18 months.

Most of the money, AU$36 million, will be devoted to battling new polluted water entering and toxifying the reef. Meanwhile, crown-of-thorns starfish, a predator of the reef’s corals, will be the target of a AU$10.4 million attack, with the number of vessels culling the pest increasing from three to eight. 

Of the remaining money, AU$6 million will go to the Australian Institute of Marine Science and CSIRO, who will devise research programs that look into ways to make coral more resilient. Then, AU$4.9 million will be used to hire field officers who will monitor the reef and give warnings of bleaching events. 

The AU$60 million is part of the government’s 2015 pledge to spend an estimated AU$2 billion in Great Barrier Reef preservation over a period of 10 years. The government isn’t just interested in protecting the reef for sentimental reasons, as the reef supports 64,000 jobs and provides AU$6.4 billion to the economy.