Volunteers map Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to a vast citizen science project.

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An expedition to find the lost shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia begins on Friday. This voyage is part of the Great Reef Census, one of the world’s largest marine citizen science projects.

Conservationists estimate that the Great Barrier Reef has up to 900 shipwrecks, but only 150 have been found. Sailors are at risk due to the shallow waters of some of the coral reefs off northeastern Australia and the region’s susceptibility to storms and cyclones.

Volunteers discovered three shipwrecks last year while investigating the world’s largest coral system. The expedition, ending December 1, will return to the rarely visited remote areas of Five Reef and Great Detachid Reef to collect more data and look for other shipwrecks. Conservationists, scientists and marine archaeologists are on board.

Andy Ridley, CEO of the Great Barrier Reef citizens, the organization conducting the survey, said last year’s findings were an unforgettable experience.

“The first chief officer of the boat was floating on the reef from one side to the other and noticed that there were river stones in the water. The round stones on the reef are rare,” he said. Says. Said. “We noticed that it was a ballast from an old ship. That particular coral reef at the northernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef, one of what we consider to be three shipwrecks 200 years ago. I found one. This was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. It was like a boyhood dream. “

Scientists, tourists, divers and sailors are contributing to this year’s Great Reef Census.

They have taken thousands of photographs that help record the health of coral reef systems facing various threats such as climate change, overfishing and pollution.

Images will be analyzed early next year by an international army of online volunteers, including children from Jakarta, Indonesia, a church group in Chicago, and citizen scientists from Colombia in the past.

In the first year of 2020, a survey conducted from early October to late December collected 14,000 images.

The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Site. It stretches 2,300 kilometers down northeastern Australia and is the size of Germany.

Consisting of 3,000 individual coral reefs, it is home to 10% of the world’s fish species and is the only organism visible from space.

Volunteers map Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to a vast citizen science project

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