Cairns students band together for health of the Reef

Published: 17/09/2013

Students from Reef Guardian Schools in the Cairns region are working together to help ensure the health of the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Fifty nine students from eleven local schools, including St Gerard Majella School, Trinity Anglican School Whiterock, Redlynch State College, Woree State School, Trinity Anglican School Kewarra Beach, Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, Edge Hill State School, St Andrews Catholic College, Yorkeys Knob State School, Hambledon State School, Isabella State School are taking part in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's 2013 Future Leaders Eco Challenge. Students will be participating in environmental activities to learn new skills to help them look after their local ecosystems.

GBRMPA Reef Guardian Schools program manager, Megan Sperring, said students will learn how to think globally but act locally when it comes to protecting the health and resilience of the Reef.

“This year’s theme, ‘The Amazing Great Barrier Reef – Let’s Keep it Great’, will remind students how lucky we are to have a world heritage-listed icon right on our doorstep here in Queensland.

“On-ground sustainability projects in schools and in the community can help the Reef in a positive way and with the support of local environmental partners we are demonstrating that a practical, locally-based approach can make a real difference,” Ms Sperring said.

Students will gather at Pelican Park Kewarra Beach and will be asked to imagine themselves as Reef Rangers in training in preparation for their first Reef Patrol. The day’s activities will include understanding the threat marine debris has to marine life followed by a beach clean-up with the help of Tangaroa Blue; a quiz on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning; and a low tide safari with marine biologists from James Cook University and GBRMPA where the students will catalogue the biodiversity of the intertidal zone of Kewarra beach and Taylors Point.

Local councillor and Cairns Local Marine Advisory Committee member Cr Greg Fennell will open the event.

Cr Fennell said the Future Leaders Eco Challenge was a great opportunity for the students to increase their understanding of the biodiversity, management and human threats to the amazing Great Barrier Reef.

“Living in Cairns means the students have a strong connection to the Reef and the day provides a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about the Reef and what they can do to look after it,” said Cr Fennell.

“As a Reef Guardian Council the Cairns Regional Council shares the same desire to do what they can to look after the Reef as the Reef Guardian Schools that are participating in the Future Leaders Eco Challenge,” said Cr Fennell.  

Reef Guardian Schools is an environmental education program run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.  

Check out the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Facebook page to see photos from the event.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846