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Australian Dolphins Swim Team to help raise awareness of threats to Great Barrier Reef

Australian Dolphins Swim Team to help raise awareness of threats to Great Barrier Reef
July 17, 2018

Members of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team training in Cairns are set to swap the pool for the coral covered ocean as they explore the outer Reef on a Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef expedition on Saturday 21st July.

Led by Olympic gold-medallist Mack Horton, the group will include members of the 33-strong team selected for the upcoming Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, including Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold-medallists like Cate Campbell, Mitch Larkin, Emma McKeon, Emily Seebohm, Kyle Chalmers and Ariarne Titmus; who will all be at a pre-event staging camp in Cairns.

The expedition is part of a Reef-wide effort to raise awareness of the health of the Great Barrier Reef and the ways it is being impacted by issues like climate change and plastic pollution.

The idea for the expedition to the outer Reef was conceived following a conversation between GQ Australia Editor Michael Christensen, Mack Horton and Citizens Chief Executive Andy Ridley at the inaugural GQ Gentlemen's Ball in Melbourne earlier this year.

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is a Cairns-based non-for-profit group led by Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley.

Launched in 2017, the group seeks to promote options to preserve the Reef which recently launched a campaign to eliminate single-use plastics along the entire Great Barrier Reef.

Ridley explained “the Great Barrier Reef is the barometer for the health of the planet, and plastic waste has become a symbol of our wasteful society.

“To tackle climate change, the greatest threat to the Reef, we must change the way we do things.”

Ridley sees that sport is not immune to the problem of plastic pollution, from the mountains of stadium and arena waste, to the increasing presence of marine pollution in the waterways athletes compete in.

In June, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced plans to eradicate single-use plastics from the organisation and its events around the world as part of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign.

The Dolphins hope to highlight this issue during their visit to the Reef.

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell welcomed the opportunity for the Australian Dolphins Swim Team to be involved.

Russell explained “I know our Dolphins are excited to be part of this Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef expedition and we look forward to the team being able to play its part in increasing awareness all over the world of the everyday products and actions that can spoil one of the great wonders of the world.

 “As a sport that revolves around water, the conservation and protection of our oceans and their assets like the Reef and marine life is a cause close to our hearts,” Russell said.

“We’re so excited to bring the Dolphins to the Reef.” Andy Ridley said. “We hope they will be inspired by its beauty and share our message of hope and positive action with their supporters.”

Swimming Australia, Ocean Freedom, Cairns Regional Council and Tourism & Events Queensland who are supporting this event.

Click here for more information on Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

Images: Mack Horton will lead the Great Barrier Reef expedition on Saturday 21st July (top, courtesy of Swimming Australia/Hanson Media Group) and the Great Barrier Reef is facing unprecedented challenges (below). 

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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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