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Australia pledges millions in bid to rescue Great Barrier Reef

SYDNEY — The Australian government unveiled a plan Sunday to try to rescue the imperiled Great Barrier Reef, pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in what would be the largest single investment for reef conservation and management in the country’s history.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said about $380 million would be set aside to help the reef, an important ecosystem and a global treasure, after years of devastating damage from warming waters caused by climate change.

“We’ll be improving the monitoring of the reef’s health and the measurement of its impacts,” Frydenberg said from the city of Cairns, a popular jumping-off point for reef tourism. “The more we understand about the reef, the better we can protect it.”

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The money would be used to improve water quality, control a major predator, invest in coral restoration and enhance underwater monitoring.

But environmentalists said the plan from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government was nowhere near enough. The reef’s health and prospects are increasingly grim and huge sections have died over the past two years.

New York Times