Ellen DeGeneres has joined the fight to save what is arguably Australia’s greatest natural treasure, the Great Barrier Reef.
Her message, part of a global Remember the Reef campaign, follows a heartfelt plea from Sofia, an 11-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl.
Ellen is the voice of Dory, a reef-dwelling blue tang fish with short-term memory loss in the animated movie Finding Dory.
Sofia launched an “Ellen, Dory’s Home Is Dying Please Help” petition in her fight to save the reef from the impacts of climate change.
“I’m asking Ellen to help save our reef – if she’s the voice of Dory then she must care about where Dory comes from,” Sofia told the Sunshine Coast Daily.
“Ellen talks to zillions of people every day, so I know she can help save the reef because it’s dying and no-one is doing anything about it.”
Sofia was spurred into action after a family holiday visiting the reef.
“(The reef) didn’t look like it was in your movie,” Sofia tells Ellen in the petition.
“Lots of parts were white and slimy not colourful. Mum and Dad took us to more reef spots until we saw one that looked like Dory’s home but it made me sad.
“I don’t want the reef to die.”
It was revealed this year that the Great Barrier Reef has suffered a devastating 93% rate of coral bleaching.
In her video message, Ellen says: “As you know, I’m a big fan of your beautiful, great, wonderful Great Barrier Reef, which is home to my favourite fish, Dory.
“And as you may remember – but Dory probably doesn’t – she’s a blue tang and has many other amazing species that live in the Great Barrier Reef with her.
“It’s critical that we protect this amazing place, and we’d like your help.”
The message is part of a wider Disney campaign with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that provides Finding Dory-themed educational materials to help raise awareness of the decline of the reef.
Finding Dory, the sequel to the 2003 film Finding Nemo, will be released worldwide on 17 June.
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