Target: Dr. Gordon de Brouwer PSM, Australia’s Secretary of the Department of the Environment
Goal: Increase funding to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to improve reef health
The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. Half of it has died since it became a World Heritage site in 1981. The reef faces threats from coastal development, farm pesticide run-off, water pollution, and effects of global warming such as rising water temperatures, which cause coral bleaching. Additionally, the Australian government is not making all the effort it must in order to protect the reef. Branches of the government that are available, willing, and committed to protecting the Great Barrier Reef are losing funding.
The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs, 900 islands, spans a distance of 1,429 miles, and covers an area of 132,973 square miles. It is the largest reef in the world and home to a host of incredible species. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is responsible for protecting and managing the marine park. This includes twelve specific areas upon which management efforts are focused. Several of the areas include costal development, fishing, recreation, ports and shipping, water quality, and scientific research.
The GBRMPA is losing funding. With the governmentally approved plans for costal development, industrial expansion, sediment dumping, and sea bed dredging, the future of the reef looks grim. With less funding the GBRMPA faces difficulty adequately addressing all the issues that face the reef. Current projects to collect and analyze data about climate change, sediment dumping, and dredging could be crucial evidence to push the Australian government to sufficiently protect the reef from development, pollution, and destruction. But without funding the GBRMPA is spread thin and cannot be as strong and effective as if it had more funding. Since the government won’t listen to pleas to end degradation of the reef, maybe with enough support they will give more funding to the GBRMPA and the reef can have a brighter future. Tell the Department of the Environment to fight for increased funding to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Dear Dr. De Brouwer,
As the secretary of the Department of the Environment, you have a crucial role in fighting for and securing the well-being of Australia’s irreplaceable natural beauties. As you well know, the Great Barrier Reef has seen better days and has been greatly impacted by global warming, pesticide run-off, industrialization, and water pollution. It is important to act now and do whatever is possible to secure a better future for this one-of-a-kind World Heritage site.
The reef is seeing assaults on many fronts and the Australian government has conflicted interests. When it comes to deciding to ensure economic growth and prosperity or take a precautionary and proactive stance against environmental degradation, the government seems to side with monetary gains. Instead of leaving all the work in the hands of the government, an increase of funding to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority would mean better care for the national park, increased research opportunities to gather hard evidence about the health of the reef and effects of outside factors, and take some pressure off the government.
I am a strong supporter of a healthy, vibrant, and lasting reef. I urge you to increase funding to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: only_point_five via Fotopedia