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eReefs: Online Water Quality Tracking Tool Combats Reef Pollution

Great Barrief Reef

A new online tracking tool known as the eReefs, which models the effect of sediment and chemicals in reef waters via satellite, is being launched in order to monitor and take action against industrial and agricultural polluters of the Great Barrier Reef, according to Queensland’s Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Steven Miles.

The “eReef” tool, which employs satellite imagery to monitor water quality in real-time, will reportedly be showcased next week in Germany to world heritage committee members prior to the final UNESCO ruling which will determine the reef’s “in danger” status, The Guardian reported.

Experts have warned that warmer waters are but one of the many problems facing corals around the world, as the reefs are threatened by destructive fishing practices, ocean acidification and pollution, Voice of America reported.

A study published in the journal Science suggests coral might be more resilient than previously thought, as a certain species of coral exhibits DNA which allows it to adapt to climate change. Unfortunately, Line Bay, co-author at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, was quoted by Reuters as having said that this is not enough to “safeguard corals from the multitude of stressors they are currently facing.”

As for eReef, Miles was quote by The Guardian as having said that it will “strengthen our case in going to particular industries and sectors and saying, look it’s no longer a suspicion that what you’re doing is having an impact, we know it is and here we can show you” and that the tool will also make a “powerful” impact on UNESCO delegates prior to the final ruling on the reef’s “in-danger” status.

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