Press release – 11 January, 2014LOS ANGELES, CA – A world famous celebrity – Nemo the clown fish – made a cameo appearance at the Australian Government’s G’Day USA Gala Dinner in Los Angeles tonight (Sunday afternoon Australian time) to appeal to Americans to help him save his home, the Great Barrier Reef.“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most spectacular natural treasures, but it is under threat from coal port developments and climate change” said Greenpeace US climate and energy campaigner Kelly Mitchell.
A Greenpeace activist – dressed as a clownfish in a tuxedo – visited the Black Tie Gala to speak with celebrity guests, including Golden Globe award winning actor Anthony LaPagila, about the threats to the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Australian Government has recently approved plans to build the world’s largest coal port beside the Reef, including dredging up 5 million tonnes of seabed and dumping the waste back in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.”
“Clown fish like Nemo, as well as turtles, dugongs, dolphins and many other amazing coral reef creatures are threatened by plans to build new coal export terminals along Great Barrier Reef coastline.”
“Greenpeace sent a clown fish to the G’Day USA Gala Dinner to appeal to the celebrity attendees and all Americans to help him save his home from these destructive developments.”
“Burning coal is one of the main drivers of climate change, which threatens the reef by warming the oceans and causing coral bleaching.”
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef is vital for the thousands of tourism and fishing businesses that rely on a healthy reef for their income.
“Over 200,000 North Americans visit the Great Barrier Reef every year, contributing to a major tourism industry that supports over 60,000 jobs and brings in $6 billion a year for Australia’s economy” said Mitchell.
For more information:
Kelly Mitchell, Climate and Energy Campaigner, 818-282-0168,
Louise Matthiesson, Greenpeace Queensland Campaigner   0406 041 428
Event photos via Twitter @GreenpeaceUSA and @greenpeaceaustp