We are the Year 12 Marine Studies class of Byron Bay High School and we are concerned about the proposed building of megaports, dredging and shipping in the Great Barrier Reef.
We understand that mining will generate money and jobs but the damage to the reef would mean a loss to the fishing and tourism industries that guarantee future income for many generations to come.
The Great Barrier Reef is also home to many species that are found nowhere else, such as the snubfin dolphin, whose habitat is at risk. As well as protecting the wide range of biodiversity, the reef protects the coast parallel to where it is situated and the food grown on the land.
There has already been damage to the reef from the increased boat traffic and dredging. This was evidenced in 2010 when the Chinese supercarrier crashed into the reef, and in 2011 when dredging was linked, by independent researchers, to fish and coral death.
As teenagers who will inherit the world that current leaders make decisions about, we demand the long-term sustainable management of our natural resources for future generations.
Michelle Lowe on behalf of Byron Bay Year 12 Marine Studies students