26 September 2023

Safe moorings to curb reef damage

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The installation of 13 new public moorings offshore from Townsville and around Orpheus and Pelorus islands, is expected to reduce harmful anchoring on coral reefs.

The new moorings are part of a plan at the Department of Environment and Science to establish 30 new public moorings across the Whitsundays to help protect sensitive coral on the Great Barrier Reef.

In a statement, the Department said the moorings would be located at key points on the reef to provide safe and sustainable access to some of the Whitsundays’ most popular snorkelling and anchorage sites.

“This investment increases the number of public moorings available in the Whitsundays and Townsville areas to 246, after 30 similar moorings were installed in 2021,” the Department said.

“The public mooring project is part of the Reef Trails project to reduce anchor damage on coral reefs and improve public access to the Great Barrier Reef.”

The Department said the moorings would be managed and maintained through the Reef Joint Field Management Program, funded jointly by the Queensland and Australian Governments to deliver crucial on-ground actions to protect the reef.

Minister for the Environment, Meaghan Scanlon said there were now 309 public moorings and 289 reef protection markers throughout the Great Barrier Reef that could be used by recreational boaties and reef-based tourism operators.

“The moorings help to reduce the impact of boat anchors on coral reef, sea grass beds and other sensitive marine habitats, which in turn supports the long-term health and resilience of these important ecosystems,” Ms Scanlon said.

More information about public moorings in the Whitsundays and across the Great Barrier Reef on the Department of Economics website, with maps, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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