The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is one of the most magnificent marine parks in the world, so it makes sense that now that you own a boat you are going to want to head up there to explore it for yourself. There are many areas of the reef that are zoned to allow recreational boaters to visit, but it is very important you are fully aware of how your boating actions can impact the health of the reef. These two simple tips will make sure your boating activities don't leave a negative footprint on the coral or the marine life after you leave.
Don't Be A Litterbug
While you are not likely to be throwing trash overboard with careless abandon, younger members of the family can be a little careless with sandwich wraps or pieces of plastic that can quickly blow away. There are a couple of things you can do before leaving home to reduce the chance of litter becoming man overboard:
- Rather than wrapping sandwiches in Glad Wrap, prepare them and place them all in one large plastic storage box. The sammies can be handed straight to the child with no excess wrap left lying around.
- Rather than taking small bottles of soft drink that are tied together with plastic, take large reusable drink bottles instead that will return home with you at the end of the day. The plastic rings from soft drink bottles are notorious for causing harm to marine life.
While you may be well prepared how to reduce human harm to the reef, have you given the same level of attention to your boat?
Boats Can Damage The Reef
You must, must give your boat a very close inspection before heading to the Great Barrier Reef because it is the simple things that can cause the most damage. For example, does your boat have peeling paint that may come away in the water? Coral is a very fragile specimen of marine life, and flaking paint chips can land on the coral. Paint that contains tributyltin is toxic to many species of marine life and marine organisms and will kill them.
The same problem occurs if you have small fuel or oil leaks coming from your outboard engine. Both of these can make both coral and marine life sick if they come into contact with them.
A trip to the Great Barrier Reef is on the must-do bucket list for every person who enjoys natural beauty, but it is also up to each visitor to leave it the way they found it. So be a smart boater rather than a thoughtless one, and the reef will be around for your kids to enjoy in the years ahead. For more tips on keeping your boat and boating activities safe for the local environment, contact a company that offers marine services.