The Great Barrier Reef is in the Coral Sea, off the north-east coast of Australia. It is one of the most beautiful, natural gifts of the world and is the only living thing which can be seen from space. It includes over three thousand individual reef systems and coral cays and over four hundred different types of coral which is dated back to around twenty million years ago.

Nature has provided a home to over fifteen hundred species of tropical fish, twenty types of reptiles, two hundred species of birds and many smaller animals. It is a breeding ground for Humpback Whales and is also home to a few endangered species such as the Green Sea Turtle and the Dugong. As a result of its inhabitants and the fact that it is one of the world’s greatest natural treasures, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization listed the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage site in 1981.

The reef is indescribably beautiful above and below the water and has attracted increased numbers of people to the north-east coast of Queensland. This migration has resulted in increased social activity such as boating, fishing, diving and shipping through the Great Barrier Reef. This may have a negative impact on the coast in the future.

Commercial shipping is potentially a huge threat to our pristine oceanic environment. Ships regularly travel through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to other Queensland docks transporting a range of products which have potential to cause severe environmental damage. Products such as oil, garbage, chemicals, sewerage, toxic compounds, ore and coal could be fatal to a range of animals and plants if something went wrong with the ship. It is argued whether the necessity for transportation through this area simply for money is even worth the risk.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) states that the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef may fail because of the increased surge of ships through the area. The GBRMPA is required to produce a report every five years. The most recent report in 2007, showed nine thousand seven hundred voyages had been made through the marine park. Combine this number with a growing population, an increase in tourism and unquenchable human desire for money, it is inevitable that the number of shipments are going to increase.

Around Easter 2010, the Shen Neng 1 was traveling fifteen nautical miles outside of its shipping lane when it crashed into coral spilled oi onto the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel may have been taking an illegal short cut through a passage between reefs which fisherman say is used by at least one ship every day. About a year earlier on the 11th March 2009 the Pacific Adventurer leaked over two hundred and seventy tonnes of oil into Moreton Bay.

The question is 'how many more environmental disasters will it take before something is done'? Are the fines imposed on these renegade shipping companies acting as a sufficient deterrent to illegal passage through the reef. It is absolutely imperative that proper protection laws be enforced to protect our naturally beautiful coastline if our future generations are to experience the pleasure of this immaculate marine environment we are fortunate enough to share today.
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Kristin is attending the university of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. You are welcome to visit a website of interest at Buildings For SalePortable Buildings For Sale and Commercial Buildings For Sale.

Fossil fuels have been exploited for use in energy production for around 5000 years. In the grand scheme of the planet’s existence, this is a very short time – about .00012% of our planet’s timeline. In this time, we have almost completely drained its fossil fuel resources. Scientists predict that there will be no fossil fuels left in 350 years at most, with coal running out last. Many experts feel that this is a very optimistic estimate. Some estimate that we only have 250 years before we have depleted the earth’s coal resources. We may have as little as 65 years of natural gas available, and 50 years at the outside before we run out of oil. Realizing that our grandchildren may never use oil or natural gas at all is an eye-opening thought.

There are many sustainable methods of creating energy, some of which have already gone into widespread use. However, there will come a time when these methods are our only sources. While all renewable power sources cost money for initial set-up, they pay for themselves many times over with use.

Solar energy is the one renewable resource that has gotten the most press in recent years. Solar panels, while currently quite expensive on the initial purchase, are a free source of energy once installed. They are virtually silent, collect and store energy for use when sunlight is unavailable, and can be installed on rooftops to avoid having to find an area on ground-level to place the panels.

Wind power has been in use for more than five centuries, so it is far from being a new idea. Wind turbines can be placed on land or offshore to conserve land area. Ideal positions for turbines are high altitude and offshore areas, where winds are stronger and more constant than over low altitudes. Views on the appearance of wind turbines vary from the belief that they are appealing, to thoughts that they are eyesores. Modern designs can be quite attractive.

Biofuel is separated into categories of biodiesel and bioethanol. Bioethanol is created by fermenting the sugar in plant materials that contain high starch or sugar and can fuel vehicles in its pure form. Pure biodiesel has the lowest emission of any type of diesel. It is made from recycled animal fat, vegetable oils, and greases. While production is becoming easier, producing biofuels currently uses almost as much energy as the fuels can generate themselves, unfortunately.

Hydropower can be produced in a number of ways. Many dams, though they can possibly impact the number of fish in surrounding waters, are used to create electricity. Energy can be harnessed from the movement of the ocean’s tides and currents. Even a slow stream has the ability to produce electricity. Hydroelectric plants have already been in use for years – some have existed for nearly a century.

The demand for fuel is not levelling off – quite the contrary. Our demand for fossil fuels increases each year. We are profoundly reliant on these quickly dwindling sources of energy, and we will require forms of renewable energy long after fossil fuels supplies have been exhausted.
By: Graeme_K
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Graeme supplies his wizardry to, a Web Design Agency - writing on behalf of Haven PowerBusiness Electricity

The pollution level of the earth is growing annually. To reduce the pollution level of the planet, a lot of people are trying to follow a green lifestyle. All people must make up their mind if they are looking to be part of the green living group. Living green has gotten a bad name by the radical groups that grab all the attention. There are numerous ways to start living green without overdoing it and turning a hardcore fanatic. For some people, using the power of the sun and wind is essential, but not everyone needs to go to such extremes. There are lots of uncomplicated, common things that the vast majority of the population can do. These things can easily be taught to youngsters so it becomes common for them to do.

Below you will note some quick steps to get you started. Switch your lights to fluorescent bulbs since they last ten times longer. Because we're living in the computer age, try using a laptop whenever possible as it will merely use about half the power as compared to a regular desktop PC. If you're not in a room, make sure to turn off the electronics and lights in that room. If you switch off an item and you still see a light on, just unplug it because that light is consuming electricity. Ensure that your car running in perfect condition, as this will cause your car to use less fuel. By making sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure, you can actually save on your gas consumption. When you are stopped in traffic, switch off your engine since more gas is used while your vehicle is idling than when restarting. Furthermore, you should switch your car engine off any chance you get, like at the drive-through window. The new washing machines can not merely save money and pollution by using less detergent, but they also use less water.

A little can save a great deal, particularly in terms of home heating costs try lowering your thermostat. You can save quite a good deal of money annually by turning down your thermostat 1 or 2 degrees. You should really insulate your hot water pipes to help keep in the heat, as this can help you spend less money on heating the water and you can save water by not needing to let it run as long for hot water. Go and get the new low flow shower heads, since you can get just as much pressure without using as much water. Some people's urge to make money is also helping the Earth and they don't even realize it. Some people are into recycling, but their motivation is to generate money. It actually is easy for us to recycle and bring down our waste. I mean, how difficult is it to just gather all your recyclables and take them to a recycling facility each week?

Instead of taking all your leftovers on your plate and scraping them in the bin, use them to start a compost for your flower pots or gardens. Also by purchasing locally grown food, you can help lower greenhouse gases, which are produced when trucks have to transport food across the United States. Co2 can be counteracted by trees, so think of how much good could be done if everyone planted merely one tree. Green living requires a great deal of small things that each one of us can do.

An important area of green living that could alter the world is by making use of alternative health remedies. Not only is it going to help your health to make use of herbal plants and organic foods, but eliminating chemical substances and pharmaceuticals is awesome for the environment by reducing poisonous wastes. You don't have to be a fanatical tree hugger, but small steps can make a huge difference.
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This author focuses on interesting information about Composting and even on Recycling

You may be starting to think about implementing solar power in your home and wondering where to start, this article will take you through some of the initial steps you have to think about if you want to "Go Solar" around your home.

The first questions you need to answer are
1. Do you actually know how much electricity you require to run your home
2. Are you looking to go completely of the grids - stop using power from the utility company
3. Are you looking to just supplement your current power needs.

To answer these questions the first step would be to have a look at your current electric bill.
With the online service you now get from most power companies you can see a chart of your monthly usage throughout the year. From this you could average the total, or if you are looking at going completely of the grid you will have to look at your peak demand to ensure you always have enough power.

From this you can estimate the number and size of PV (photovoltaic) modules you need. Photovoltaic is the method almost all solar cells use to convert sunlight into electricity. So look at the size of you south facing rooftop and calculate the number and size of modules you require. Each module will generate a certain amount of power at a given cost. When connected the right way the modules add up, so finding the total output (and cost) is equally as easy.

Depending on where you live the sun doesn't shine all day every day. It's dark at night, obviously. Rain and heavy cloud cover will reduce the amount of insolation, as it's called. Other uncontrollable factors reduce the amount of sunlight available. So, almost anyone going 'off grid' will want a battery storage system. Those not taking the complete plunge can draw power from the local utility company during those times.

The power company will also insist on inspecting your system before finalizing any agreement. In fact, most municipalities will require that you have your system inspected and approved even if you go entirely off grid. They need to ensure that it's implemented in a way that's safe for local lineman. During power outages they have to assume there's no power running through the lines. Your system has to be installed in a way that guarantees that.

The average homeowner woun't have the skills required to install and safely connect the system so you will have to remember to factor this into the final installation costs.

With the price of panels and batteries falling and continuing to do so and the price of electricity continuing to rise, the initial outlay may seem a large, but this cost should be offset against what you would pay for electricity from the power company over the lifetime of the system, usually about 20 years without substantial replacements.
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If you are interested in Solar Power why have a look at Solar Power 4u where you can lean all about alternative energy and how to use Solar Power around your home and garden.

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