Bringing in over $6 billion in tourism dollars every year, the Great Barrier Reef is an important piece of Australia’s natural identity, but it’s in trouble. Changes in the climate and other factors mean there’s some issues, an app, called Eye on the Reef from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is looking to track changes on the reef using crowd sourcing.

Eye on the Reef lets you ‘capture, submit and share your sightings, photographs and video recordings’ of the Reef next time you’re out there with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and others.

Using the app, you can report sightings of all the animals you see including humpback whales, dwarf minke whales, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, birds, sea turtles, and many more. Data submitted allows the GBRMPA ‘to build knowledge about the diversity, abundance, habitats and range of marine animals’. The app works both online and offline, so you can prep a report and upload it next time you’re online.

As well showing all the animals you see on the reef, you can use the app to check out the various zoning maps available to let you plan your trip to the reef. You can check out all the rules of each part and work out what you can do in each. Education is also a big part of the app, with information on animals, and the reef itself included in the app.

As there’s a focus on capturing photos of animals, the GBRMPA does remind people in the app description to report sightings of sick, injured or dead animals to the 24hr hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

The app itself isn’t the greatest example of the best design (hey, it’s from the Government), but it’s functional.

If you’re heading to the Great Barrier Reef this is a pretty good way to turn your holiday into something that will benefit everyone.

Eye on the Reef
Eye on the Reef
Developer: ThinkSpatial
Price: Free
Source: Google Play.