Future leaders protect inshore biodiversity on Palm Island

Published: 09/08/2012

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

More than 25 students from two 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 important students understand the need for long-term protection of these habitats."

Gail Barry from GBRMPA's Indigenous Partnerships Group said she was pleased to see local student leaders and environmental experts brought together on country.

"It’s important for students to not only enjoy their environment, but also learn the science behind what makes their environment healthy and sustainable," Ms Barry said.

Supporting the event are partners Tangaroa Blue, Museum of Tropical Queensland, Ergon Energy’s Powersavvy program and WWF-Australia.

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

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846