reef2 Good news for great reef!The Australian government will spend 200 million AUD to improve the water quality around the Great Barrier Reef in what Agriculture Minister Tony Burke calls a “once-in-a-lifetime chance to resuscitate the reef”.

The first “downpayment”, consisting of 50 million AUD, was committed on Thursday. The money will be divided between agriculture industry groups, natural resource management bodies, and the WWF (World Wide Fund). The recipients will work to increase the water quality by promoting better farming practices on land. The short-term goal is to reduce nutrient and chemical discharge into the reef environment by 25 percent from next year.

Farmers hold one of the keys to the reef’s long-term health – they understand the land and how to manage it in a smart, productive way,” Burke said in a statement.