Future leaders protect inshore biodiversity in Townsville

Published: 24/07/2012

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

More than 60 students from eleven primary schools will take part in the day-long Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's 2012 Future Leaders Eco Challenge which includes hands-on activities and field trips.

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."

James Cook University Environment Manager, Adam Connell, applauded the Future Leaders Eco Challenge.

"We're proud to be hosting the Future Leaders Eco Challenge at James Cook University because it provides valuable learning experiences for students. The event promotes local partnerships and sustainable living ideas," he said.

The activities will be facilitated by local partners – the Museum of Tropical Queensland, NQ Dry Tropics, Reef HQ Aquarium, Sea Turtle Foundation, CSIRO, Oceanwatch and Paluma Environmental Education Centre. 

The event is proudly supported by Townsville City Council and James Cook University.

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

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846