We did it! You helped us make history. Project AWARE and our partners in the Protect Our Coral Sea campaign are celebrating the Coral Sea becoming the largest marine reserve and the second largest marine national park in the world.
The Australian Government has announced a nationwide network of new marine reserves in a move that recognises there are limits to how much we can take from the ocean.
The announcement creates the biggest network of marine reserves in the world, placing around 35 percent of Australian waters in marine reserves with 15 percent in fully protected marine national parks.
The area is now completely protected from mining and mostly protected from trawling. The announcement protects an additional seven reefs over the initial draft plan released in 2011, including Osprey Reef, one of the top shark dives in the world.
This achievement shows the power of community action. More than 486,900 people made submissions calling for more protection for the Coral Sea, including many Project AWARE supporters.
Project AWARE and our partners in the Save Our Marine Life campaign worked hard for protection for south west Australian waters. Here, a network of marine reserves has been established that protects several key areas including the Diamantina Fracture Zone, Australia’s largest mountain range, and the creation of many new sanctuaries on the continental shelf.
We now enter one final consultation period that simply asks: should we go ahead and protect our ocean this way? Get ready to let the Australian Government know Project AWARE supporters answer with a resounding YES!