Tourists rush to visit dying Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is dying. And tourists from all over the world are rushing to see it while there's still time. Nearly 70 percent of people who visited the reef in 2015 said they made the trip to Australia to witness its beauty before it's gone. Almost half of the reef's coral has vanished over the past three decades, thanks to warming ocean temperatures, invasive species and coastal development.
Class discussion: Would you travel to see a threatened environment or endangered animals? What natural wonders do you expect to disappear in your lifetime? How many animal and plant species have vanished in the last century? What are the changes that killed these species? Some scientists say we are in the midst of a “mass extinction event” like the ones that devastated Earth’s life in the past. Do you believe that humanity can survive such an event? Why or why not?
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level