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Australia Orders Waste Dumping Ban On Great Barrier Reef - Yahoo News

Conservationists say dumping waste in reef waters damages it by smothering corals and seagrasses and exposing them to poisons and high levels of nutrients. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has threatened to put the reef, which is a World Heritage area, on its danger list. The body has given Australia until February 1 to act and Hunt said he would travel to Europe next week to consult on long-term plans for the natural wonder. Hunt said the home page government had put together "a strong defence of the management of the Great Barrier Reef... concluding that it should not link be listed as in danger". The reef also faces threats from climate change, nutrients washing into the sea and the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish, and the government was working on each of them, he added in a statement. But he said water quality was improving, coral-eating starfish were being culled and stricter management regimes have been put in place for shipping and developments, including ports. "Australians are proud of the reef and it remains one of the great natural wonders of the world," he said. "We are determined to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef not just for the coming decades, but for coming centuries." The park where the ban will apply almost totally overlaps with an expanse designated as a World Heritage Area, but it does not include most islands and ports, as well as lakes and other waterways in the heritage area.
More: http://news.yahoo.com/australia-orders-waste-dumping-ban-great-barrier-reef-083009666.html

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