Australia to Dump Dredged Sand in Great Barrier Reef Waters

This week’s decision to dump dredged sand and silt in Great Barrier Reef waters has prompted warnings that the troubled ecological treasure is one step closer to a spot on World Heritage’s “list of shame.”

great barrier reef

“We’re going backwards on the reef—that’s the sad truth,” says WWF-Australia Reef Campaign Director Richard Leck.

“What we get from the Australian and Queensland governments is lots of talk but very little action,” Leck says. “The reality on the ground is that major destructive industrial projects that involve outdated practices like dumping dredge spoil [debris] in reef waters continue to be approved.”

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He notes that dredging can kick up sediment that can potentially drift and bury coral, choking them.

he Great Barrier Reef is a collection of more than 2,800 separate reef sections, stretching for some 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) off northeast Australia’s Queensland coast and housing a staggering diversity of marine life.

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