FOR most people, the Coral Sea is an unseen wilderness beneath the ocean, hund reds of kilometres from the Australian coast.
However, for Xanthe Rivett, the Coral Sea is one of her favourite workplaces.
Ms Rivett is an underwater photographer and has been capturing the sea's beauty for five years.
"In diving circles it is well known the Coral Sea is one of the top sites on the bucket list," she said.
"It's just so intact and so special."
Anybody unsure of the stunning beauty of the Coral Sea need only look at her photos.
Ms Rivett said her first reaction to a proposal by Environment Minister Tony Burke was that it would be amazing to have such a massive marine park, covering an area large enough to protect the bigger species that swim huge distances. But she is also concerned the protections within the zone don't go far enough.
Her main worry, like many other Australians, is that the proposal only gives the highest protection to two of the Coral Sea's 25 reefs.
Now the government has received nearly half a million submissions calling for the protections to be enhanced, and Ms Rivett is hoping that the wave of public pressure will influence the final decision.