Gladstone future leaders band together for the health of the Reef

Published: 06/08/2013

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

Twelve local schools are taking part in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's 2013 Future Leaders Eco Challenge with students participating in environmental activities and learning 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 environment.

“This year’s theme, ‘The Amazing Great Barrier Reef – Let’s Keep it Great’, will serve to 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 travel to Curtis Island to participate in a range of activities including a beach clean-up, seagrass assessment, and learning about marine pests and also how to reduce human impacts on the Great Barrier Reef and its catchment area.

Heather Richards, Environment and Sustainability Officer with Gladstone Regional Council said they are a proud Reef Guardian Council, and were thrilled to be involved with the Reef Guardian Schools Future Leaders Eco Challenge.

“Gladstone Regional Council is an active supporter of Reef Guardian School Actions: promoting waste facility education tours, enabling beach protection projects, and offering funding support for sustainability initiatives through offsetting Ecofest in 2013, to name a few.

“Council believes the children and youth of today are pivotal to securing the future of the environment and the health of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Ms Richards.

Supporting this program are local partners Gladstone Regional Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Central Queensland University, OceanWatch, Reef Guardian Farmer Ivan Stiller, and local Reef Guardian Fisher Gareth Andrew.

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

 


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