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Opinion: What a Dredge: Australia and the Great Barrier Reef

greatFirst, read this article from BBC News

The Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia is one of the largest biodiversity hot spots on the planet, and for some reason Australia has decided it would be a good idea to dump dredged sediment on it.

The idea is that Australia is trying to export coal reserves (oh the irony) from the Galilee Basin area through the Abbot Point port. In order it accommodate the ships, though, they need to deepen the port.

So they are left with all this sediment from the bottom of the ocean.

Oh what to do, what to do…

I can just imagine a cabinet meeting somewhere, everyone is gathered around the barbie and one bloke says to another, “Crikey, what are going to do with all that dirt from that dredging project?” The other bloke pauses as he sips his beer and ponders.

“Why don’t we put it on the Reef out there?”

“Great idea mate! That’s sure to work!” and they high-five one another as rugby comes on the telly.

Now to be fair, they aren’t dumping it directly on top of the Great Barrier Reef, just literally right next door to the Marine National Park. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, has recommended that the Great Barrier Reef be added to the World Heritage in Danger list, but no big deal right?

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