Australia’s Ban on Dumping in the Great Barrier Reef

A step forward for the Great Barrier Reef is a step forward for conservation.

Earlier this year, the Australian government banned dumping in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. In November, the government extended the ban outside the park, to include the entire World Heritage Area, where 80% of the dumping had occurred closer to the shore.

This closed a legal loophole that would have allowed 46 million cubic meters of seabed to be dug up and dumped in the fragile and biodiverse ecosystem. The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 134 species of sharks and rays, over 30 species of marine mammals, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, as well as 411 kinds of hard coral and one-third of the world’s soft corals.

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said:

“For everyone around the world who cares about the Reef, this is a moment to savor.”

 
 
Featured image by Kyle Hovey / CC BY-ND 2.0

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