On Thursday 28 November 2012 our South Australian campaigners had the pleasure of attending a briefing with the state's Premier and Environment Minister to announce the implementation of South Australia's marine parks network.
This represents one of the most significant and important conservation decisions in South Australia's history. After decades of research and extensive consultation, South Australia's 19 marine parks, including Sanctuary Zones, are now official.
A heart-warming addition to the announcement was the recognition of Ron and Valerie Taylor –professional divers, underwater still photographers and conservation advocates.
Sadly, Ron passed away in September this year, but he and his wife Valerie have been long-time Wilderness Society supporters, and we're happy to report that the Neptune Islands Marine Park will be named in their honor.
South Australia's network of marine parks now covers 2.6 million square hectares (44% of state waters) and fully protected Sanctuary Zones (the equivalent of National Parks on land) cover around 6% of state waters (approximately 363,400 square hectares).
The significance of Marine Sanctuaries
Sanctuaries are proven to protect marine life and generate economic and social benefits. They are an investment in our future, as healthy coastal waters are important to everyone. While the area to be protected in Sanctuaries falls short of that recommended by the international scientific community, it's a fantastic first step.
"This is a truly great initiative for South Australia” said the Wilderness Society's South Australian Campaign Manager, Peter Owen.
"It’s fantastic to see spectacular places such as the Nuyts Reef, Isles of St Francis, Pearson Island, areas around Kangaroo Island and the Coorong Coast protected in Sanctuaries. These places are the Arkaroolas and Wilpena Pounds of our marine environment".
A huge congratulations and thank you to our volunteers and supporters for all of your hard work and commitment over the many years of this campaign. We can all be very proud of our results!
Read our media release.