The U.K. is one of the world’s leading supporters of the Great Barrier Reef.
But it’s not the only country that has been buying the reef, which has suffered catastrophic damage in recent years due to climate change.
The United States has also bought the reef and is building the Great Lawn, a large public garden on the reef.
President Donald Trump has pledged to spend $1 trillion on rebuilding the reef — but has not said how he plans to do so.
In a statement Thursday, the White House said the administration is working with other countries to address their environmental concerns.
“We are committed to the restoration of the great Barrier Reef and to the conservation of this unique marine ecosystem,” the statement said.
Trump’s statement was met with some skepticism.
There is a long history of presidents and their administrations trying to buy and sell out environmental protections to boost their economies, said Tom O’Neil, a marine scientist at the Center for American Progress who studies environmental protection.
Even with the $1 billion in funding, it would not be enough to restore the reef to full health, O’Neill said.
The Great Barrier, which stretches more than a thousand miles across two countries, is home to the largest number of endangered species, including turtles, sharks, dolphins and whales.
It’s also the largest ecosystem in the world that’s been affected by climate change, said Michael Pollard, a coral reef specialist at the University of Washington who is also the president of the Coral Reef Institute.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but I think the administration has a good plan.”