Removing Barriers to Help The Reef

Folks, I dread the day one of my grandchildren asks me, “What did you do when you found out the Great Barrier Reef was dying Grandad?”

I have a sinking feeling that re-posting humorous or alarming global warming memes on social media isn’t the answer they’ll be real thrilled with.

So, I’ve made a great start by asking myself a very important question:

What can I do?

I’m delighted to report I soon worked out what not to do:

  1. Don’t add to the problem.

Pick up rubbish when you’re out and about.  Even better, think about what you’re buying and how it will impact the reef/environment.  Recycle, re-use! 

Encourage your local councillors by letting them know how wonderful it is they are trialling rubbish traps on your towns’ stormwater systems.  If they aren’t, ask why?

  • Don’t remain ignorant.

Find out more about the reef in your neck of the woods, where it is, what lives on it, what is happening to it and how you can help.  Even if you live inland, miles from the ocean, your actions can still have an impact.  What can you do to make a difference, no matter how small?

  • Don’t get all preachy about it. 

Ok, guilty.  Oh, so guilty…

But, if you lead by example your children would rather brush their teeth with poo before tossing rubbish into the ocean.  And even better, their example will teach their children.  

  • DON’T (note all the capitals, this is important) fall into the trap of cynicism.

I’ll admit, I’ve been paralysed for far too long because I thought the problem was too big for just one person to tackle; and it is. 

So, find other like-minded souls, hang out with them, join (or start) a group, learn from them, encourage each other, celebrate all the small wins, speak up and do the best you can with what you’ve got, where you are right now. 

Look, I’m not going to sugar coat it, the situation is diabolical, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but the war isn’t over, there’s still time and hope, so take heart, the tide is turning.

Heart Reef, off Airlie Beach, Qld.

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