Pages tagged "reef"
Water quality in Mackay region under supervision
Healthy waterways are a vital ingredient in the social, cultural, economic and environmental constructs of a healthy society, with the state of freshwater and marine environments, inclusive of the Great Barrier Reef, providing invaluable benefits throughout the Mackay and Whitsunday region. The health of these catchments are essential to bestowing clean and safe drinking water, providing nursery habitats for recreational and commercial fisheries, as well allocating sufficient water sources for efficient agricultural productivity.
A 2015 report, undertaken by the Healthy Rivers to Reef Program, investigated both freshwater and marine environments throughout the region. A number of areas, particularly the river basins, were standardized as being in a ‘poor’ state. One of these low-ranking river basins was the Pioneer River, one of the largest utilized water sources within region.
Coral Bleaching Risk Increasing for the Mackay Whitsunday Region
The devastating coral bleaching event of 2016 may be returning in 2017.
Current ocean conditions have reef scientists worried that we may see serious coral bleaching later this year, particularly in the Mackay/Whitsunday region.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), eastern Australia waters are unusually warm, increasing the risk of bleaching.
NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch website indicates that the Mackay/Whitsunday region is likely to experience Alert Level One (bleaching likely) and Alert Level Two (mortality likely) over the next 4 to 8 weeks. (See NOAA chart below showing warning alerts and areas that are most at risk.)
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is already fielding bleaching reports from Mackay in the south right up to the far north This is causing concern and many reef scientists fear another major coral bleaching event.
Green Zones Helping the Reef Recover
Green Zones on the Great Barrier Reef do more than just give fish a place to grow larger and more abundant. They also protect the reef itself and help it recover.
Last year the Great Barrier Reef suffered the largest and most widespread of the three mass bleaching events of the past two decades. The bleaching event affected reefs all over the world. When it hit Australia, it evolved very rapidly. Eventually over 93% of reefs were affected by bleaching. The northern section of the Great Barrier Reef was most badly damaged, with between 50 and 90% of corals dying.Read more
Poor Water Quality Continues to Plague Reef
The latest Mackay-Whitsunday Waterway Health report card continues to highlight the region’s poor water quality despite years of effort and millions of dollars to clean it up. Regulations will be required to improve water quality and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The Mackay Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership which includes members from 22 organisations representing the community, industry, research groups and government has recently released their waterway health report card for the 2014 – 15 year for our region. You can download a copy of the 2015 Report Card hereRead more
Australia's environment laws are too weak to protect the reef
Mackay Conservation Group will hold a rally at Bluewater Quay at 6pm on Wednesday 31 August to call on the federal government to overturn the Adani Carmichael mine approval. Other rallies will be held in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg must reconsider the approval of the Adani Carmichael mine and review the environmental legislation that has allowed the mine to proceed.
In Brisbane today the Federal Court announced a decision to reject the Australian Conservation Foundation’s appeal against the mine approval. The court’s decision means that the world’s largest privately owned coal mine now has moved one step closer to opening.
If the mine proceeds it will produce billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and will be a disaster for the reef and for the tens of thousands of tourism jobs dependent upon it.
MCG is calling on the environment minister Josh Frydenberg to reconsider his predecessor’s approval of this mine in the light of the greatest coral bleaching event the world has seen.
Burning coal means a hotter climate and a hotter climate means coral death and death of the tourism industry. 70,000 people are employed reef tourism along the Queensland coast. Burning coal from Carmichael mine will put those jobs at risk.
The environment minister knows that there is a limit on the amount of coal we can burn if we wish to protect the reef but the laws that he is responsible for do not provide the legal protection necessary to ensure our greatest natural treasure is protected.
We are also calling on the environment minister to introduce a climate change trigger in Federal environment laws.
You can help by attending a rally at Mackay's Bluewater Quay at 6pm on Wednesday to call on the federal government to overturn the Adani Carmichael mine approval.
Keep an Eye on the Reef
Keep an eye on the reef
The app is one of the tools that GBRMPA and marine scientists use to learn more about the location of marine creatures.
Eye on the Reef is a program started in 1997. At that time tourism operators made weekly reports to GBRMPA about the state of the coral reefs they were visiting.
The program enabled scientists to collect and analyse a much greater volume of data than ever before.
Healthy Rivers to Reef Info Session
The Great Barrier Reef is being threatened from many fronts. Climate change, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, disease outbreaks, extreme weather, shipping, ghost nets, rubbish and introduced species are all stressing the reef. The reef is also being stressed by large quantities of nutrients and sediments flowing into its waters from coastal streams.
The Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership has been formed to identify water quality problems in rivers from Bowen to Hay Point. The partnership aims to ensure that rivers and streams are properly managed to reduce the flow of pollutants into the reef.
On Wednesday 6 July at 6pm we will be hosting an information session about the partnership to introduce the partnership and the most recent report card on our waterways. Di Tarte and Charlie Morgan will explain how the report card has been developed and how the project will proceed in the future.
If you are concerned about the health of the reef and our waterways, please come along to this meeting.
6pm - 7pm Wednesday 6 July 2016
Mackay Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay
RSVP at mackayconservationgroup.org.au/healthy_rivers
Your Vote Can Save The Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. It is being threatened by poor water quality from coastal rivers, Crown of Thorns starfish and climate change.
On top of all those threats, the Mercury reported on Monday that a ship passed through the reef on its way to Brisbane with a crew that didn’t understand how to use its navigation equipment. That could have led to a disaster.
In the past, politicians have mostly dismissed environmentalist’s distress about the condition of the reef. That lack of concern ended last year when UNESCO proposed to declare the World Heritage status of the reef “in danger”.
Since then we have seen significant impacts like dumping of capital dredge spoil in the ocean banned.
This year’s coral bleaching catastrophe has again focussed political attention on the condition of the reef.
Greg Hunt - We have a problem
Great Barrier Reef Reaches Apocalypse Level Three Coral Bleaching Alert
2015 was the hottest year on record
January 2016 - the hottest January on record
February 2016 - the hottest month ever recorded
In March 2016 we're heading to be the hottest year on record yet again.
In this Olympic year – these are not world records we want to be breaking!
AND our Great Barrier Reef is suffering…..
The Great Barrier Reef, once touted as the world’s best managed and healthiest reef system in the world, is now facing a coral bleaching apocalypse. Increased water temperatures brought on by global warming are cooking the northern section of the Reef, consider by scientists to be the most pristine region of the Reef.
Today the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) issued a level three coral bleaching alert, based on wide-spread severe bleaching in the northern section of the reef.
The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, has talked down the event but he failed to address the scope and severity of the bleaching.
Enjoy the Reef the Right Way
Experiencing the Great Barrier Reef is on everybody’s bucket list.
After all, it is the most spectacularly diverse ecosystem on the planet.
The Reef is so big that you can see it from the surface of the moon.
It is home to tens of thousands of animals with over 1600 species of fish from Nemo to Jaws, including many vulnerable and endangered species.
But there are right ways and wrong ways to experience the Reef and, when it comes to fish, fish ‘framing’ is the wrong way.
Fish ‘framing’ involves dangling some form of bait such as fish heads or carcasses into the water to attract large fish to the surface and sometimes right out of the water and onto the deck for a photo opportunity.Read more