Featured Image Source: ABC.net
Australia’s breathtaking Great Barrier Reef is one of the most amazing things about our planet. The reef stretches along 1,400 miles of the Australian coast and although it is beautiful, it is facing many challenges.
With a warming global climate that has been weakening coral immune systems, the reef has been degrading over time.
Unfortunately, that decline may be accelerated in the near future. With the approval of a plan that will allow 1 million tons of sludge to be dumped near the reef over the next decade. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority recently granted permission to dump sludge that will be produced during the deepening of a large port in Hay Point.
Back in 2015, Australia had banned the dumping of any sludge within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. However, the rule only applied to new projects and did not prohibit the dumping of sludge from maintenance dredging.
The reef is already facing a large battle with environmentally degrading factors, and the new sludge will just continue to make the problem worse.
According to Larissa Waters, a senator of the Australia Green Party, “The last thing the reef needs is more sludge dumped on it, after being slammed by the floods recently. One million tonnes of dumping dredged sludge into world heritage waters treat our reef like a rubbish tip.”
Read more at the Smithsonian Magazine, here.