The Great Barrier Reef is an expansive wonder filled with thousands of marine species and over 600 coral types. It’s naturally priceless. But think of it as a business, or prime piece of real estate, and the Australian reef is worth a hefty sum of money.
The 133,000-square-mile coral reef system represents around A$56 billion — or $42.4 billion in U.S. dollars — in economic, social, and brand value, according to Deloitte Access Economics, a consulting firm in Australia. The high dollar figure illustrates how essential the reef is to Australia’s economy.