LETTER | Don't just blame farmers for the reef's health


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Dear Editor,

In regard to the mismanagement of the GBR Marine Park with most of the blame put on our Farmers, sugar cane and cattle, for overloading the land with too much nitrogen and phosphates and not enough water runoff controls.

I have been researching this matter for a while and I have found that there is a greater offender than the farmers.

1. The direct pumping of effluent into the ocean from Port Douglas to the outer reef from all boats in the Port Douglas Marina. How much waste is that? No one talks about how much?

Seriously, how many hundreds or thousands of litres a day get pumped/dumped into the ocean from all the reef boats carrying visitors?

2. Sun Cream. I feel there is much damage done to the reef from how many thousands of people slopping on sunscreen/sun cream by the litres every day on every reef vessel and then swimming, snorkelling, and diving over the precious coral.

I've seen people slopping on, and I mean slopping on excess amounts, that end up as a reef pollutant. I would not call that a best environmental practice.

3. Almost every home gardener puts excess levels of nitrogen and phosphates on their gardens in town and I have personally noticed where most of it goes, not into the ground but into the storm water drains which, in turn, into the river systems.

I've also witnessed, that is seen with my own eyes, burnt oil running out off the storm water drain exit after someone has dropped their sump oil down the drain. How many people do that?

Steve Cruickshank, Mossman. 

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