U.S. Drops Unarmed Bombs On Great Barrier Reef08:03
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The Great Barrier Reef is clearly visible from aircraft flying over it. (Wikimedia Commons)
The Great Barrier Reef is clearly visible from aircraft flying over it. (Wikimedia Commons)

The United States Navy released four bombs onto Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park when a training exercise went wrong on July 16.

The unarmed bombs were intended for a small island off the coast of Queensland. However, because of the presence of “unauthorized vessels” in the target area, the Navy decided to release them into the sea.

Despite the Navy’s assurances that the Reef is undamaged, Australians and environmentalists are upset that bombs were introduced into the fragile ecosystem, which has faced a myriad of threats to its survival — including climate change, ocean acidification and structural damage from ships.

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This segment aired on July 22, 2013.

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