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.
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.
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.
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.
But an independent report released earlier in the year found that dredging could be more damaging than previously thought.
At particular risk are the already-threatened species of turtles that live and nest in the area.
Dugongs are also under threat. Their sole source of food is the seagrass that grows in the areas waste will be dumped.
The waters around Abbot Point are also a popular humpback whale gathering area.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 30 species of whales and dolphins, and over 1,500 species of fish.
And his beautiful, precious mates...
The Great Barrier Reef is already in a vulnerable position.
Despite being the largest reef in the world, it has lost more than half its corals since 1985.
The sediment released into the water as a result of the dredging could further damage the coral that's left.
The effects of dredging and dumping on the reef could potentially be devastating.
The WWF and the Australian Marine Conservation Society have come together in a campaign to Fight for the Reef.
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
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