What we can do to max­imise our reef

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - SHARON SMALL­WOOD Ed­i­tor

THE reef has been a touchy sub­ject for some time in the Whit­sun­days.

And there’s no deny­ing things got worse with Cy­clone Deb­bie.

Prior to the cy­clone, we had our chal­lenges.

Water qual­ity has been an on­go­ing is­sue and the jux­ta­po­si­tion of a mega mine and coal port with a tourism in­dus­try re­liant on the reef has been a dif­fi­cult pill for many peo­ple to swal­low.

Add to that the stresses of global warm­ing and the hor­ror sto­ries we were hear­ing from our north­ern neigh­bours about coral bleach­ing and we al­ready had our hands full pro­tect­ing what, here at least, was still pris­tine in so many sites.

Yes, Cy­clone Deb­bie paid us more than a visit and changed all that.

But I don’t think any of us should lose hope.

There are plenty of things we can do to help the reef on both a lo­cal and global scale and we should all be do­ing them.

And there are also op­por­tu­ni­ties we can take from this.

They say ev­ery cloud has a sil­ver lin­ing and de­vel­op­ing eco and ed­u­ca­tion tourism prod­ucts from the dis­as­ter that was Deb­bie might just be ours.

I have no doubt peo­ple from across the world would come here and pay for the priv­i­lege of fix­ing our reef.

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