35 Spectacular Photos That Highlight The Importance Of Saving The Great Barrier Reef

Queensland’s World Heritage Area is under threat after the Government approved plans to create a massive coal port right beside the GBR.

1. On Wednesday, 11 December, the Abbott Government approved dredging off the coast of Queensland, which will create one of the largest coal ports in the world.

Tanya Puntti

2. Three million cubic metres of seabed are going to be dredged around Abbot Point, the spoil of which will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Flickr: kyletaylor / Creative Commons

3. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt claims the dredging projects will be subject to the “strictest conditions in Australian history” and that the Great Barrier Reef will be protected.

Tanya Puntti

4. But an independent report released earlier in the year found that dredging could be more damaging than previously thought.

Peter Niesen

5. At particular risk are the already-threatened species of turtles that live and nest in the area.

Flickr: uofdenver / Creative Commons
7.
Flickr: fugm10 / Creative Commons
8.
Flickr: geirf / Creative Commons

9. Dugongs are also under threat. Their sole source of food is the seagrass that grows in the areas waste will be dumped.

Stephan Kerkhofs
10.
Stephan Kerkhofs

11. The waters around Abbot Point are also a popular humpback whale gathering area.

Flickr: jcdubya / Creative Commons
12.
Flickr: tk_five_0 / Creative Commons

15. The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 30 species of whales and dolphins, and over 1,500 species of fish.

Peter Niesen

16. Including Nemo!

Tanya Puntti

17. And his beautiful, precious mates…

Peter Niesen
18.
Peter Niesen
19.
Joanne Weston
20.
Green Ant Photo
21.
Tanya Puntti
22.
Peter Niesen
23.
Dr Peter M Forster
24.
Flickr: beerkens / Creative Commons
25.
Jeff Hunter
26.
Flickr: rling / Creative Commons
27.
Peter Niesen
28.
Peter Niesen
29.
Jeff Hunter

30. The Great Barrier Reef is already in a vulnerable position.

Flickr: kyletaylor / Creative Commons

31. Despite being the largest reef in the world, it has lost more than half its corals since 1985.

Tanya Puntti/Tanya Puntti

33. The sediment released into the water as a result of the dredging could further damage the coral that’s left.

Flickr: kyletaylor / Creative Commons

35. The effects of dredging and dumping on the reef could potentially be devastating.

treetstreet/treetstreet

The WWF and the Australian Marine Conservation Society have come together in a campaign to Fight for the Reef.

They are urging everyone to spread the word on social media, and to contact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which is now the only thing that can prevent the dredging projects from going ahead.

The Australian Conservation Foundation have also created a petition, which you can sign here, that will be delivered to Greg Hunt as well as his counterparts in the Greens and Labor. #SaveTheReef

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Facebook Conversations
          
    Now Buzzing