Field Management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

The Great Barrier Reef was internationally recognised for its outstanding universal value with a world heritage listing in 1981. It’s the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and includes around 2900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and about 150 inshore mangrove islands.

Building the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef is central to the long-term future of this great natural wonder. Given the Reef’s size and complexity, we need to ensure environmental protection while allowing people to benefit through its sustainable use.

Through the Great Barrier Reef Intergovernmental Agreement, the Australian and Queensland governments have been working together for the long-term management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Keeping the Reef healthy requires a collaborative effort. Reef protection and management is a partnership between many government agencies, Traditional Owners, stakeholders and community members, with activities both on the water and in the catchment.

Out on the water, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, operate a joint field management program for the marine and island national parks, encompassing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.

The field team delivers practical on-ground actions to protect and maintain well-functioning marine and island ecosystems that support economic, traditional and recreational uses of the Great Barrier Reef. Their work involves:

  • conservation and monitoring
  • incident response
  • welcoming visitors
  • upholding compliance.

Find out more about this program by reading the Field Management Program 2014-15 annual report summary or the Field Management Program digital flipbook.