Don’t Let the Great Barrier Reef Become a Dumping Ground

Great Barrier Reef clownfish

Target: Greg Hunt, Australian Environment Minister

Goal: Prevent the world’s largest coal port from destroying the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system on earth. Home to thirty species of whales and more than 1,500 different types of fish–many of them threatened or endangered — Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been called one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and is considered sacred by Aboriginal peoples.  Soon, the Great Barrier Reef is scheduled to be home to the world’s largest coal port as well.

Much of this site is protected as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. But not all of the habitat is safe from defilement. In recent years development has seriously threatened the reef, and what’s planned to be the largest coal port on Earth could just be the nail in the coffin. Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt recently gave the green light for miners to dump 3 million cubic metres of dredged sea floor into Great Barrier Reef waters as a part of port development.

This decision comes at a time when health of the reef is already in decline, largely due to poor water quality caused by pollution. There is no excuse for turning the Great Barrier Reef into a dump for the sake of corporate coal. Demand that Hunt protect this precious ecosystem from further harm, and reverse his decision to allow large-scale dumping in reef waters.


Dear Greg Hunt, Australian Environment Minister,

The Great Barrier Reef is perhaps Australia’s most famed symbol, and most precious natural resource. Roughly 63,000 jobs in tourism and related industries are dependent on the reef’s health, not to mention the thousands of species of fish, whales, and other creatures that call it home. Why, then, would you approve dumping millions of cubic metres of mining spoils into the reef’s waters?

Your recent decision to approve this large-scale dumping, as a part of construction for the largest coal port on Earth, comes as a grave disappointment. While your office charges you with the task of protecting the environment, instead you have made clear that corporate interests come first. Although it is commendable that you are seeking to “offset” this pollution, it seems highly unlikely that you can actually improve the reef’s water quality as a part of this deal, despite your assurances.

Please, do your duty and protect this World Heritage Site form further degradation. Reverse your decision, and reject mining companies’ pleas for access to the Great Barrier Reef.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Janderk via Wikipedia

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One Comment

  1. Hope Gerecht says:

    Protect the Great Barrier reef!!

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