The Queensland governments have just published the draft of the water quality improvement plan. This project is part of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan that has to help the Great Barrier Reef withstand pollution until mid-century. However, the new pollution strategy will tackle the issue for the next five years only. Nonetheless, the proposed battle plan against pollution might not be enough to save the largest coral ecosystem in the world.
Pesticides and Fine Sediments from Agricultural Areas Are Some of the Risk Factors to the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is an invaluable aquatic environment that sustains 64,000 jobs and adds $6.4 billion each year to the Australian economy. However, this piece of heaven is under threat. Large portions of coral have given in to bleaching. This process eventually kills the corals through starvation. Therefore, the Queensland governments pledged to halt the degradation process of the most popular reef in the world.
Their proposal draft includes new pollution strategy to improve water quality. However, the plan doesn’t seem to embrace all scientific data on water pollution. This omission renders it weak. The document will be open for suggestions until October. The paper includes a comprehensive view of all sources of pollution and adds new cultural, social, and economic values to this natural treasure.
The paper indicates that nitrogen from fertilizers, fine sediments coming from grazing lands, and pesticides are all main risk factors to the reef. The plan drew individual solutions for each of the 35 catchments that are part of the coral reef.
The Main Pollution Strategy Is to Reinforce All Existing Water Quality Regulations
One of the main changes that the paper proposes is to take better advantage of the already existing legislation and policies regarding water pollution. By reinforcing these regulatory rights, authorities can greatly boost water quality standards.
For instance, the federal Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 allows officials to ban any activities that might endanger the vegetation and wild life in the Marine Park. However, authorities haven’t applied this legislation yet as they need extensive financial resources.
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