Target: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Goal: Reverse decision to allow expansion of ports adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef
The government of Australia has recently announced the planned expansion of five sea ports on the Queensland Coast adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Included in the expansion will be Abbott Point, one of the largest coal ports in the world. The expansion follows the loss of a court battle waged by green groups to stop 3 million cubic meters of dredge spoil from being dumped within the marine park boundaries. This expansion will have devastating effects on the largest reef ecosystem in the world. Please sign this petition to convince Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to halt this environmentally disastrous expansion of sea ports so close to the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the world’s single biggest structure made by living organisms. Much of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Marine Park. During the recent port expansion, dredge waste from the expansion sites was allowed to be dumped within the boundaries of the marine park. The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure shared by the entire world. The arrogance demonstrated by the Australian government in allowing dredge spoils to be dumped within the park boundaries is unprecedented.
The Great Barrier Reef already faces tremendous threats from climate change and pollution. Coral bleaching is caused by warming water temperatures. Runoff from farm waste due to overgrazing of cattle comes from the rivers north eastern Australia. This pollution causes abnormal algal growth, which depletes oxygen and decreases biodiversity in affected areas. The last thing the reef needs is expansion of sea ports so close to its boundaries and dumping of dredge spoils resulting from these expansions.
The decision to expand five ports so close to the Great Barrier Reef will result in the industrialization of the coast line adjacent to the largest coral reef in the world. This comes at a time when countries like the United States are attempting to limit coal production, rather than advocate increased expansion. Please sign this petition to tell the government of Australia that the world will not tolerate the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.
Dear Prime Minister Abbot:
I am very concerned about the recent decision to expand five sea ports so close to the Great Barrier Reef, including Abbot Point, the world’s largest coal terminal. This decision will effectively result in the industrialization of the coastline adjacent to the world’s largest coral reef. This violates the trust that the rest of the world has given Australia to protect this UNESCO world heritage site.
I encourage you to work with the government of Australia to reverse the decision to expand these ports adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Australia’s reputation as caretaker of the world’s largest coral reef is at stake. Please take action to protect the Great Barrier Reef from this unnecessary industrialization.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nize via Wikimedia Commons