The State of the Great Barrier Reef

by isvolunteers on Sunday, 6 November 2016

A lot of information has been circulating around the internet about the state of the Great Barrier Reef, but to make sure ISV’s prospective travelers have correct details, we’ve spoken to our tour operators to direct you to the most accurate and up-to-date news on it’s current state.


On ISV’s adventure tour in Australia, volunteers will have the opportunity to explore the diversity of marine life from the largest reef of living coral in the world. (c) Brodie Philp


Volunteers Ocean Rafting at the fringing reef on the Whitsunday Islands. (c) Brodie Philp

A few weeks ago, the article Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016) by Rowan Jacobsen went viral on social media. Some of you may have seen it shared, or even shared it yourself.

What some people aren’t aware of, is that the original article was actually intended as an important piece of satire to raise awareness about the threats to the Great Barrier Reef – but when taken literally, it’s not a correct interpretation of the current state of this natural wonder.

Part of ISV’s mission statement is to educate our participants on sustainable development and responsible tourism practices. As our participants who have traveled to Australia know, the reef is an important part of the adventure tour – so we asked our trusted partners of Passions of Paradise (our Great Barrier Reef diving and sailing operator) and Reef Teach (a reef education centre) in Cairns for a response to this article. They experience the reef first hand on a daily basis and have backgrounds in marine ecology.


Snorkelling in the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. (c) Passions of Paradise

Passions of Paradise and Reef Teach
have suggested that these recent articles shed a better light on the current state of the reef.

Statement from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Russell Reichelt

The Great Barrier Reef is not actually dead 

While the Great Barrier Reef is not dead, it is indeed facing serious risks to its survival. Among its greatest threats are the warming waters and increasingly acidifying oceans – two direct impacts of climate change.


“While the Great Barrier Reef is not dead, it is indeed facing serious risks to its survival.” (c) Brodie Philp

As a global community we all need to do our bit to help reduce the damaging effects of climate change that threaten this incredible natural wonder.

As ISV volunteers you can travel knowing that every one we work with has demonstrated leadership in ecotourism practices and a commitment to responsible travel. You’ll spend your summer working with amazing community groups who work tirelessly to protect natural wonders, not only in Australia but all over the globe.


“…travel knowing that every one we work with has demonstrated leadership in ecotourism practices and a commitment to responsible travel.” (c) Brodie Philp

Want to know more about combating climate change? Check out these other blogs from ISV.

Positively Impact Your World Through Combating Climate Change

Our Future, Our Choice: Stand Up For Climate Change Action

ISV Action For Climate Change

ISV And The Millennium Development Goals – Volunteering To Ensure Environmental Sustainability

To find out more about volunteering with International Student Volunteers, visit our website or email



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