As sailors we appreciate more than anyone the value of our pristine seas. So here is an opportunity to protect the Coral Sea. 2011 is shaping up to be the year of the ocean as the federal government decides the fate of the Coral Sea and many other marine areas around Australia.
Coral reefs are a unique and fragile ecosystem that are threatened by pollution, global warming, development and other human activities. If you see healthy coral you will recognize that the habitat it creates has all of the beauty of the other great natural wonders of the world....unfortunately a very fragile beauty.
According to a report by Reef Check, an international coral assessment program, many corals that thrived for hundreds of years suddenly died in 1998. Divers surveying reefs throughout the tropics found that up to 90% of some coral species had died. Marine biologists say that hardly a reef ecosystem around the world was unaffected. Under current conditions, 40% of the world's coral reefs could die by the year 2028.
The next few months are crucial. The federal government is preparing a plan for the Coral Sea, which will be released for public comment in coming months, and finalised by the end of the year.
As sailors with a special interest in the issue, we need to keep showing the government how much public support there is for a large highly protected marine park in the Coral Sea. If we can keep the support growing, we can create the world’s largest marine park in one of the world’s most special places.
'Our fate and the oceans are one': Dr Sylvia Earle.
After signing our e-petition yourself, please ask a friend, family member or work colleague to sign it as well today. We have over 33,000 supporters now. Let’s try and reach 50,000 by midyear! http://www.protectourcoralsea.org.au/act-now
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