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Marking time in January 2016

Friday 22 January 2016

Swimming for the reef

The Environmental Defenders Office is an independent com­munity legal centre in Queensland. It does stalwart work to protect the environment. Among its many other activities, the EDO recently represented conservation groups in court cases about dredging and dumping of spoil in the Great Barrier Reef.

The EDO depends on community support to operate. Its latest fund-raiser is Swim for the Reef​—​an event in which teams of supporters swim as far as they can (in a swimming pool) between midday and midnight on 23 January 2016. I encourage you to sign up as a swimmer, and/or donate to the cause.

I’m not much of a swimmer, but I am showing my support by making an online map on which I’ll plot the total dis­tance swum.

The aim (which will take more than one annual event to achieve) is to swim a total distance greater than the length of the Great Bar­rier Reef​—​more than 2,300 km. This will remind every­one of the vast scale of this important place. I hope that by plotting the swimmers’ progress on the online map I will re­in­force our con­nec­tion with the reef.

The thin red line on the map shows the track taken by a ship traversing from south to north, as it weaves through the hazards of the Great Barrier Reef. The swim­mers’ progress will be plotted along this track.

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