07 March 2009

Ella Bay - an appeal for comment

The oceans join all of us who work on shores.

A few days ago, I heard from Russell Constable who is working hard to save marine turtles in Ella Bay in Far North Queensland Australia. He found nests of flatback and green turtles there. He is hoping to influence the plan to build a $1.81 billion, 450 hectare five-star tourism and residential resort less than a kilometre from this beach.

He also shared another reason why Ella Bay is so special, with photos taken by Liz Gallie of the magnificent Southern Cassowary (a listed endangered species).
"At least 7 of these birds call Ella Bay home so if we can save the place for the turtles they win too! 7 doesn’t sound like much but with a total population in Australia of about 1200 that’s over half a percent and anyone with a home loan can tell you half a percent can make a big difference!" Russel says.

Here's more of what Russell shared about his work on his shore. Far far away, but the story is so sadly familar to all of us who care about our shores.

From an email from Russell on 2 Mar 09
My name is Russell Constable and I have recently completed a marine turtle survey near Ella Bay in Far North Queensland Australia. After discovering previously unrecorded marine turtle nesting areas I submitted the survey to the Cairns and Far North Environment Center and the Environmental Defenders Office. Within a day these two groups prepared a legal request for the minister to consider the marine turtles when assessing a multi million dollar resort which threatens to destroy this magnificent wild bay. The minister has opened up this information to public comment and I wish to make an appeal to Wild Singapore! The site where the public may comment is here.

I know Australia is a long way from Singapore but Marine turtle conservation is an international issue. I would like to provide a link to the minister’s website and appeal to you and your readers to give some supporting comments for these marine turtles. We have received enthusiastic support in Australia but really feel that comments from international sources could greatly influence our minister! It’s a window of opportunity for people to have their say!

From an email from Russell on 6 Mar 09
Well a lot of stuff has happened since we were in touch and thought I best update you.

I had a recorded interview with the ABC and it scared the living daylights out of me

Have provided a link to it and thought you might be interested. (The full interview and link to video clip is on wildsingapore news).

It looks like we have a cyclone coming so I am flat out trying to get this out in case we lose power.Went to the bay today it was wild and beautiful.

Go directly to www.cafnec.org.au where you will find a pro forma letter to our Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett AM MP (deadline 11 March 2009).

Submit it signed, dated and addressed (it’s a word document so feel free to modify it and add your own comments). The letter can be emailed or posted to the address at the top of first page.

And last but not least forward this to your friends who can hear the story and have their opportunity to help save Ella Bay…”It’s a hell of a bay to give away”.

Thank you all, every comment made on behalf of the turtles will most certainly help. their future is in your hands.

From an email from Russell later on 6 Mar 09
I am almost off to bed!

I went to Ella Bay this morning and it was overcast but I took some photographs.

It’s a great place and worth sleepless nights and struggle to defend.

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