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Reef Report for Wednesday, July 1, 2009

$50 Million allocated to protect the reef from Farm Chemicals

The Australian government today announced a $50 million allocation towards new projects to protect the Great Barrier Reef from farm runoff. The funds will go towards projects aimed at reducing farm erosion and runoff.

Agricultural chemicals impact the Great Barrier Reef in many ways. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Fertilizers stimulate the growth of algae that covers coral on the reef. Herbicides and pesticides have been found to be highly toxic to the larval forms of corals, which inhibits the colonization and re-growth of coral. Silt carried into reef lagoon reduces light available to corals and other animals, as well as covers reef organisms.

We commend all efforts of farmers and the Australian government aimed at reducing agricultural input. While farmers and the agricultural industry might commend such financial support then have been chafing about new regulations aimed at enforcing improvement in reducing ag runoff.

We support regulations aimed at protecting the Great Barrier Reef from farm runoff. Itís simply part of ensuring farms are good neighbors to the reef. We are sure that farm owners would not welcome activities of neighbors that reduce the health and productivity of their farms, and if thatís the case itís fair to ask they farm activities do not endanger the health and productivity of the Great Barrier Reef.

Coverage of this story, from The Australian

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as† many other local sources in the dive community.

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