Whitsunday students band together for health of the Reef

Published: 14/08/2013

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

Four 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 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 global but act local 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 gather at Galbraith Creek to participate in a range of activities including visiting a mangrove forest, tree planting, recycling, and learning about marine diversity by getting up close with marine invertebrates.

Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee Chair Tony Fontes will be opening the event and said they had been working with the Future Leaders Eco Challenge right from the beginning, some 11 years ago.

“It has been a very rewarding experience to be involved and we look forward to working with them again this year. This year’s theme, The Amazing Great Barrier Reef – Let’s keep it great, is most appropriate given all the pressures that the reef is currently facing.

“Our schools are training the future guardians of the Great Barrier Reef and the Challenge is an important part of the training process as it gives the students not only the necessary knowledge but also real hands-on experience in the role of reef guardian,” said Mr Fontes.  

Supporting this program are local partners Whitsunday Landcare Group, Ecobarge, Eco Crew, Bunnings and the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee.

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

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846