Money to the rescue of Pacific coral

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Millions of dollars are being devoted to saving coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean, including the Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

The United States has set aside almost $US3 million for a project to restore lost species to the coral reefs in Northern Marianas’ Laolao Bay.

The Marianas Variety newspaper reports that of the 15 species of coral reef recorded at the site in 1991, all but five have been destroyed by disturbance and pollution.

The funding was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, which chose the CNMI project along with 50 others from 814 proposals lodged across American states and territories.

Sediment

It is estimated 75 jobs will be created when work begins to address damaging upland sediment and other sources of pollution.

The World Wildlife Fund has congratulated Australian state and national governments for their efforts to save the Great Barrier Reef, off Queensland state.

The Federal Government has allocated one quarter of the $A200 million it promised to help protect the reef during the last election campaign.

Natural resource management groups, industry bodies and the World Wide Fund for Nature will share $50 million to improve farming practices that impact on the reef.

The fund’s Nick Heath says new state government laws to limit chemical run-off are also crucial.