The Australian National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) have undertaken a study within their Tropical Water Quality Hub to determine what it is that people care about most in relation to the Great Barrier Reef's aesthetic and physical beauty. The study importantly bears weight on key criteria for listing the World Heritage Area as well as ecosystem health.
Dr Nadine Marshall's CSIRO research has found that although the diversity on the reef relies on the coral system "people care more about abundant fish than live coral cover when rating the Great Barrier Reef’s physical beauty."
It seems that the 1500 Australian's tested may not fully recognise the direct correlation between healthy fish numbers and corals. Find out more about the study here
If you, your students or community wish to actively contribute to the ongoing education and growing body of knowledge about corals in your area you may want to check out Coral Watch here.
If you are a teacher you may be excited to use the free online resources and units of work at www.ausmepa.org.au under the Educators tab http://www.ausmepa.org.au/educators/