Future leaders protect inshore biodiversity in Far North Queensland

Published: 20/09/2012

Students from Reef Guardian Schools in the Cairns and Douglas regions are being enlisted to protect plants, animals and habitats near the shoreline of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Nearly 100 student leaders from 19 schools are taking part in the day-long Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's 2012 Future Leaders Eco Challenge, which includes hands-on activities at the Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre.

GBRMPA Reef Guardian Schools Acting Program Manager, Carolyn Luder, said students will learn how the coastal, marine and Reef catchment areas are interconnected and reliant on one another to function.

"Inshore ecosystems cover about 10 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef and are made up of a diverse range of habitats including seagrass meadows, salt marshes, mangroves, estuaries and beaches," she said.

"Some of these habitats and species may not be part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area but they are interconnected and vital to the health of the Reef.

"These areas are under a lot of pressure from a range of impacts including coastal development and declining water quality, so it's vital students understand the need for long-term protection of these habitats."

Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre Principal, Louise Carver, said she was pleased to host the event.

"We’re proud to partner with the Reef Guardian Schools program to highlight the value of our inshore and estuary environments to the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

"And we’re excited to be joined at the event by Yirrganydji Traditional Owners who will present an activity highlighting their traditional knowledge of the area’s plants, animals and seasons."

Reef Guardian Schools is an environmental education program run by GBRMPA.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846