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Keep New Zealand Green

April 20, 2012

Snow covered mountains, glaciers that end near rainforests, rivers that carve through steep gorges, and endless pastures full of sheep, that’s what most people think about when someone mentions New Zealand’s South Island. But all that beautiful nature that brings people to the South Island is about to change. That same beauty for which thousands of tourists come to see each year, is now threatened to be destroyed by those same tourists. One of the largest tour operators on the South Island has proposed to build a tunnel in order to reduce the amount of travel time that tours take to reach Milford Sound. What does this mean? Well, it means that thousands more tourists will infiltrate the Sound, which will likely drive up the amount of ecological and environmental damage already done by the many boats that operate on the sounds. The roads in the region will be widened to accommodate the tourists, which means many ancient trees will be cut down indiscriminately.  The loss of these trees will also lead to the loss of habitat for the many native bird species that are already struggling due to modern environmental damage and an encroaching human population. There is also the considerable amount of environmental damage that will be done by the construction of the tunnel itself. Essentially, this tunnel, done for the benefit of tourists who wish to visit a country that promotes itself as clean and green, will be exactly the opposite. The World Heritage site that the tunnel would connect to could no longer possible be considered as such since to be World Heritage is to promote preservation and protection of natural wonders for the benefit of all, including future generations. 

If you have visited New Zealand or have longed to go, please sign the petition, save Milford Sound and the surrounding environment for the trees, the native wildlife, the locals, and the tourists.

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