Australia’s government is planning an A$1 billion ($736 million) fund to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the effects of climate change and declining water quality.
The Reef Fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and provide the aforementioned capital over 10 years in investment finance for projects delivering clean energy, reducing emissions, and improving water quality.
Warming waters are bleaching the reef’s coral, while run-off is harming water quality, according to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“It’s an enormous economic driver here in North Queensland and it’s one that we are committed to protect for our children, grandchildren, and many generations to come,” Turnbull said at a press conference announcing the fund.
The UNESCO world heritage site is the planet’s largest living structure, stretching 1,430 miles along Australia’s northeastern coastline, and is home to over 1,600 types of fish and 30 species of whales and dolphins, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The reef supports almost 70,000 full-time times and is worth over A$5 billion annually to the Australian economy just through tourism, according to the Australian government.