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Reef Report for Sunday, September 14, 2008

Additional Funding to Protect Great Barrier Reef Announced.

Today Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced that an additional $7.5 million has been added to a $23 million reef protection effort.

"The $7.5 million in funding we're announcing today is on top of the $23 million we announced last month for Reef Rescue, and will provide a further boost to efforts to protect the health of the Reef particularly as it battles the impacts of a changing climate," Mr. Garrett said in Cairns today.

These addition dollars will fund projects that aim to more thoroughly monitor water quality of rivers flowing into this region, as well as research and projects that will directly improve water quality of these same rivers and streams.

Other projects will include ocean-based protection of sea turtle and dugong populations.

The overall aim of the project matches where the money is being spent, to reduce the stress on the Great Barrier Reef ecosytem by improving the water quality of the rivers and streams that flowing into the reef lagoon. Of all the stresses on the Great Barrier Reef, this is one of the easiest ones to reduce, as all improvements are land based, and involve a change in human activities, whether itís forest management, agricultural practices, or municipal sewage treatment. Any reduction of sediment, chemical, or nutrient input into these streams by these practices lowers the stress on the reef.

Australian government press release on this topic.

Coverage of this story, from the North Queensland Register

(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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