Australia's Great Barrier Reef is already facing terrible degradation from dredging, port expansion, and waste dumping. So why is Australia allowing the United States military to drop bombs right next to the reef?
A joint US/Australian military exercise went horribly wrong when pilots judged the original target for two bombs "too dangerous." So, instead, they dropped the bombs right inside a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though they did not explode, the bombs weighed a total of 4000 pounds and have still not been recovered.
It's time to tell the world's navies to do their training somewhere else--not in the neighborhood of ecologically critical coral reefs. Tell Australia to prohibit military maneuvers near the Great Barrier Reef!
We the undersigned demand better protection for the Great Barrier Reef.
Any reef, and this one in particular because of its size and range, is a vital incubator for ocean life. As such it is a gem in Australia's crown, but it is also a world resource. You have a responsibility to protect it from being the target for rather pointless military training exercises.
While it is true that the point of the recent naval exercise was not originally to drop bombs in the reef, that is what happened. The appropriate response could not be more obvious: Prohibit military maneuvers in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef!