Hundreds hit the sand to reach out to Leo

GREAT BARRIER REEF

Mark Murray

Journalist

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More than 150 people took part in the campaign at Four Mile Beach on Saturday. IMAGE: Great Barrier Reef Legacy.
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MORE than 150 people hit the sand at Four Mile Beach on Saturday to form #LeoJoinLegacy in human letters in an effort to get the attention of Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.

The team at Great Barrier Reef Legacy filmed the event by a drone and also shot a video that has had thousands of the views on Facebook already.

“Leonardo DiCaprio, we here at Great Barrier Reef Legacy have been listening to every word you’ve said about the serious plight of our oceans,” said Dr Dean Miller, GBR Legacy Director of Science and Media.


“And nobody knows better than our team of scientists, educators, tourism operators and media professionals about what is happening to our beloved natural icon because we live and breath the Great Barrier Reef every single day.

“We are raising funds to operate the Great Barrier Reef’s only independent research vessel, so we wanted you to know that we do care, and that we are taking action, and we want you to join us.

“But it’s not just our team that thinks so, it’s our entire community because we all love the Great Barrier Reef.”

In an impassioned plea, Dr Miller said the campaign to have the megastar join their fight to preserve the reef was genuine.


“Our invitation is real,” he said.


“You have the world’s attention, and we have a plan. Leonardo DiCaprio, will you stand with each and every one of us to join the Great Barrier Reef Legacy? Because together we know there are no barriers too great to saving our reefs.”

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PORT Douglas is on the short list for a permit review to open up new areas of the Great Barrier Reef under the permit system.

The issue is new areas need to be made available for tourism operators to avoid placing stress on the same sites that are regularly visited.

And Quicksilver Group chief Tony Baker, who heads the state’s biggest Reef operator with nine vessels taking 40 per cent of all visitors, told the Weekend Post that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to open up new reefs under the permit system to “spread the load” on the fragile ecosystem.

“Most operators are at over-capacity on existing sites,” he said.

GBRMPA chair Russell Reichelt said a permit review was underway in the Whitsundays with others to follow in Cairns and Port Douglas.