Great Barrier Reef
September 20, 2003
Stretching for over 2,000 kilometers off the northeastern coast of Australia is the Great Barrier Reef -— an enormous collection of reefs, passages, and coral cays (islands that are part of the reef). The Reef is broken up into four sections: (from top to bottom) the Far North, the Cairns, the Central, and the Capricorn. This true-color Terra MODIS image, acquired on July 26, 2003, focuses on the Central (top) and Capricorn sections. The Great Barrier Reef is home to the largest collection of coral reefs in the world, with over 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, countless mollusks, and several threatened species, including the dugong and large green turtle. Several species of whale and dolphins frequent the Reef, making this one of the most diverse and beautiful places in the world. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Area since 1981, the Reef will be maintained and protected for future generations.
Topics: Environment, Great Barrier Reef, Physical geography, Geography, Hospitality Recreation, Capricorn and Bunker Group, Coral Sea islands, Coral, Reef, Cay, Coral Sea, Marine ecoregions, Coral reefs