Researchers encouraged by cleanliness of Ningaloo Reef
Author: Patrick McCann
Local and regional efforts over the past decade have yielded highly positive results for one of Australia’s biggest coral reef ecosystems.
Following a recent marine survey, researchers from the CSIRO revealed they found “incredibly low” amounts of debris in the ocean and on the shores of Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and major source of tourism for the area.
These exciting findings are being attributed to local and regional efforts that have taken the shape of regular clean ups and low impact camping. The region has also engaged in localised efforts to reduce plastic waste, such as the nearby town of Exmouth’s replacement of plastic shopping bags with reusables, an effort that predates the upcoming state-wide ban by ten years.
The Ningaloo Coast is well known for its biodiversity, sheltering sea turtles and hundreds of other marine and terrestrial species in its 604,500-hectare expanse. Among its best-known visitors are whale sharks, which have been observed gathering off the reef on a yearly basis in one of the largest gatherings of its kind world-wide.
While this news is certainly exciting, Ningaloo Reef and other marine environments are still under threat by global marine pollution and climate change. It will take a great deal of leadership, innovation and behavioural and policy change to face such threats, but we are more than capable.
- If you would like to help, consider joining or starting a community clean up in your area or taking part in events such as Clean Up Australia Day or Take 3 For The Sea.
- Ensure what you do pick up is disposed of responsibly by visiting Recycling Near You, Australia’s biggest recycling database.
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