[Coral-List] Florida can teach Australia a lesson about corals

Frisch, Ashley ashley.frisch at jcu.edu.au
Wed Mar 11 13:22:14 EDT 2015

Dear Coral List,
I read with interest (and disappointment) about the coral damage being caused by dredging in Florida, USA. A brief summary can be found at...

Although this result is entirely expected given our global knowledge of corals and sedimentation, I hope that failures such as this will help convince policy makers elsewhere about the extreme dangers of dredging near coral reefs. This is particularly relevant to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where dredging operations are often proposed (and sometimes approved) by government agencies. In a recent case, dredging at Abbot Point was approved and then temporarily suspended (due to local and international pressure), but this is unlikely to be the end of the story. Recent commentary can be found at...

If Australia is genuinely concerned about protecting the Great Barrier Reef, then the failures in Florida provide valuable lessons. Hopefully these lessons will be heeded in future decisions about Abbot Point and other dredging proposals, both in Australia and elsewhere.

Ashley Frisch
Townsville, Australia

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