Impact of Farming on the Great Barrier Reef

EarthzineOriginal, St. George's School, St. George's School 2013 VPS

Image from the Great Barrier Reef Poster/ Credit: St/ George's SChool

* This project was conducted by high school-aged students at St. George’s School in BogotÌÁ, Colombia, as part of a 2013 literature review project on ecosystems.

Research question: How can pollution from inland waterways such as rivers contribute to the decay of the Great Barrier Reef, especially its 350 coral species?

Abstract:Queensland, located in northeast Australia, has an economy based on the agricultural activities that take place near several rivers. This means that fertilizers and pesticides are drained into nearby rivers like the Daintree. These contaminants contain nitrates and phosphates that cause eutrophication, which leads to an increase in the growth of algae in the Great Barrier Reef. This process particularly harms the 350 species of hard coral that make up the Reef, because as the algae die and decompose, oxygen in the water is reduced, causing other organisms to die.

Based on the information we have acquired, we will attempt to propose solutions to this dilemma oriented toward the regulation of toxic chemicals used in farming, using satellite images to support our suggestions.

Team members:

NicolÌÁs Daguer

David LÌ_pez

Adriana Mullen

Laura Osorio

Daniel Rubio

JerÌ_nimo Sotomayor.