Sediment damaging reef

Sediment being washed into the ocean from rivers is continuing to damage the Great Barrier Reef and is having a more widespread impact than scientists first thought, according to a report from the ABC. New research into the impact of river run-off by scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science has led to renewed calls for better land management practices.

According to the report, sediment is one of the biggest pressures on the health of inshore reefs. It clouds the water and blocks sunlight from reaching the photosynthetic algae that gives coral its vibrant colours. The algae depends on the sun to survive. It can also kill or damage sea grasses, which are important food for mammals and fish because they also need the sun to survive.

The study shows that large river flood events during the wet season are washing sediment into the ocean, which is having a significant impact on water quality. Land management practices that reduce erosion could help reduce sediment levels, scientists say. 

You can read the full report from the ABC HERE.

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