Australia's plans to protect the Great Barrier Reef are inadequate, short-sighted and will not prevent its decline, the country's pre-eminent grouping of natural scientists said Tuesday. The draft plan, released for consultation last month, was supposed to allay concerns by the United Nations about the reef's health after UNESCO threatened to put it on the World Heritage "in danger" list. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the proposal reflects an effort to balance the priorities of protecting the reef, which is teeming with marine life, and long-term sustainable development. But the Australian Academy of Science warned that the plan ignored the impact of climate change and failed to address problems with poor water quality, coastal development and fishing. "The science is clear, the reef is degraded and its condition is worsening. This is a plan that won't restore the reef, it won't even maintain it in its already diminished state," academy fellow Terry Hughes said. "The plan also seems overly focused on the short-term task of addressing UNESCO's concerns about the reef's World Heritage Listing, rather than the longer-term challenges of restoring the values of the reef." Hughes said while the plan identified targets for reducing harmful agricultural run-off, any improvements would likely be lost in the unprecedented amount of dredging for coal ports and the Queensland state government's plans to double agricultural production by 2040. The survival of the reef depended on a reduction in pollution from run-off and dredging, less fishing and a decrease in carbon emissions from fossil fuels, he said. - A vision for the reef - A spokesman for Minister Hunt said the "Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan" states the government's vision to improve the health of the reef over successive decades. "We note the Academy is calling for such a vision, and it is front and centre of what we are working to achieve," he said. He said the plan acknowledged that climate change was a global problem requiring global action, and was being addressed by the government through other policies. The draft, prepared by the Australian and Queensland governments, calls for greater coordination between authorities in relation to the reef, a proposal welcomed by environmentalists. It also urges a 10-year ban on dredging to develop new ports or to expand existing ones both inside and next to the World Heritage site -- apart from in priority port development areas. And it bans future port developments in the Fitzroy Delta, Keppel Bay and North Curtis Island near Rockhampton -- areas of the reef described by environmentalists as key incubators of marine life. But environmentalists have criticised the draft as not setting high enough targets for cutting agricultural pollution or providing the billions of dollars required to restore the health of the reef. With the government's final reef plan due in December, WWF-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society called for stronger action to protect the major tourist attraction. "The reef is one of the world's great natural wonders and we cannot allow it to be turned into an industrial park and a shipping super-highway," campaigner Felicity Wishart said. The colourful coral faces a number of pressures including climate change, poor water quality from land-based runoff, the crown-of-thorns starfish, which eat coral, and the impacts of coastal development and fishing.
- Rolling Stone
Facing intense GOP pressure, Republican strongholds in Arizona are waiting until the last possible moment to certify their election results
- The State
Clarrissa Winchester died Nov. 9 when she was seven months pregnant. The baby died as well.
The family of the late Katie Meyer, formerly Stanford University’s star soccer captain, is suing the university for wrongful death, after Meyer took her life in her dorm room in February. Last week, Santa Clara County ruled that “there is no indication of foul play, and Meyer’s death was determined to be self-inflicted,” prompting Meyer’s family to file a lawsuit on Wednesday, Sports Illustrated reported.
- Sacramento Bee
Emergency officials say ash and Pele’s hair could blanket parts of the island.
This Woman's Boss Said She Had To Either Work Last Minute Or Be Fired, So She Quit, And People Are Cheering Her On
"I'm already approved to take off that weekend..."View Entire Post ›
USMNT captain Tyler Adams graciously handled a question from an Iranian journalist about discrimination in the US
Tyler Adams was also informed that he'd been mispronouncing "Iran" by the journalist, but the American used the moment to gracefully answer a tough question.
- Touchdown Wire
The Broncos' defense seems to have had enough of carrying Russell Wilson's water.
Lake, a 2020 election denier, has refused to concede in the state’s gubernatorial race.
- Broncos Wire
Broncos fans want Russell Wilson's social media team to stop the 'tone deaf' tweets while Denver is struggling.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Deebo Samuel tweeted about former 49ers teammate Raheem Mostert in light of recent comments about the 49ers.
- Rutgers Wire
Paul Finebaum gives his four teams for the College Football Playoff.
- CBS News
House Republicans are projected to have only a narrow majority. That makes things tougher for Rep. Kevin McCarthy to win election as House speaker.
- Yahoo Life
Billie Eilish says she’s undergone a fitness transformation: 'I feel better about myself than I ever have'
The 20-year-old singer reflects on her relationship with her body.
- The Clarion Ledger
Jackson State is looking to keep its football coach Deion Sanders, who is garnering attention from several FBS schools, with Colorado being the latest
The royal staff have a secret and pretty rude nickname for the Sussexes, and "flinch" whenever they come up in conversation.
- The Hill
Correction: An AARP poll released last week had Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leading GOP candidate Herschel Walker by 4 percentage points. Early voting is underway in Georgia in what promises to be an intense week-and-a-half of campaigning between GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. Walker and Warnock were forced to…
- Roll Tide Wire
Alabama's win over Auburn was enough to bump the Crimson Tide up in the latest USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll.
- Yahoo Sports
Canelo Alvarez warns Lionel Messi after Mexico jersey video: ‘He better hope to God that he doesn’t run into me’
A video appeared to show Messi kicking a Mexico jersey, and Alvarez wasn't happy about it.
- The Tuscaloosa News
Alabama football is most likely headed to a New Year's SIx bowl game, but which one is still unknown. More will be learned after Tuesday's CFP rankings
- Good Morning America
First lady Jill Biden on Monday unveiled this year's White House holiday decorations, announcing the theme as "We the People." More than 150 volunteers from across the country spent a week helping to decorate the inside and outside of the White House with 25 wreaths, 77 Christmas trees and over 83,615 holiday lights. There is also a gingerbread White House that was made out of 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate, and 40 pounds of royal icing, according to the office of the first lady.