• Business Business

Paris officials push forward with decision for 2024 Olympics despite opposition: 'The project continues'

"That's the wish of local actors."

"That's the wish of local actors."

Photo Credit: Paris 2024

Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics say that construction of a new tower at a surfing venue in Tahiti will continue despite pushback. The project has already caused damage to the lagoon in Teahupo'o, selected for the Olympic surfing competition in July because of its massive waves. 

What happened?

The tower is intended for judges and TV cameras. However, according to the Associated Press, campaigners in Tahiti worried that moving the aluminum tower into the lagoon and securing it to new concrete foundations would harm coral reefs, fish, and other aquatic life. Their fears were affirmed by damage done to coral in the lagoon when a barge meant to transport the new tower was tested in December.

That month, the International Surfing Association announced that it did not want the tower to be built in the lagoon. It sent a proposal to the French Polynesian government and Paris 2024 organizers, suggesting that the competition be judged remotely, with live images from land, water, and drones. 

According to the AP, the ISA suggested alternatives on social media, citing "the likelihood that any new construction on the reef will have an impact on the natural environment" and a lack of support from Tahitians for the tower. 

But with a surfing competition to test out the venue scheduled for May, Paris 2024 organizers said that the ISA's proposed alternatives were examined and discarded. 

"The project continues. That's the wish of local actors," Paris Games head organizer Tony Estanguet said.

Why is coral important? 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, coral reefs are in decline around the world. Most coral reefs are in shallow waters near shorelines and subsequently are especially vulnerable to the impacts of human activities, both direct and indirect. 

Coral reefs are extremely valuable. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they protect coastlines from erosion and storms and are home to 25% of all marine life. They are also a source of food and new medicines, and more than half a billion people rely on reefs for sustenance, income, and protection. 

What can I do to protect coral reefs? 

When interacting directly with coral reefs, it's important to avoid touching them or anchoring your boat to them, as contact can damage the coral and delicate coral animals. Additionally, some sunscreens can be harmful to coral, so seek out safer choices such as a rash guard to prevent sunburn.

Other ways to protect reefs in everyday life include recycling and disposing of trash properly, decreasing the use of fertilizers, and using environmentally friendly methods of transportation.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider