Gladstone and Tannum students get involved in local actions to protect the Reef

Published: 11/08/2014

More than 60 students and teachers in the Gladstone region swapped the classroom for the beach as they learnt about how local environmental actions can protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The day-long activities were part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) annual Future Leaders Eco Challenges that raise awareness about how activities on the land can affect the marine environment.

GBRMPA Liaison Officer Rhianna Rickard said the students conducted a clean-up, did an assessment of coastal vegetation, explored rock pools and participated in environmental art to learn about their local environment.

“Eleven schools attended the event to work with a range of local partners to explore solutions to threats the Great Barrier Reef faces. Students collected marine debris from the beach and got the opportunity to contribute data to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative,” she said.

Future Leaders Eco Challenges are about students acting local but thinking global when it comes to addressing threats to the Reef.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Heidi Taylor said it was great to see students getting involved in environmental activities that protect the Reef.

"Students scoured 1.5 kilometres of local Canoe Point beach and only found 8.8 kilograms of rubbish to remove during their beach clean-up activity," she said.

"The debris that was found, did still however concern the students as over 75 per cent was a form of plastic which can remain in the environment indefinitely, causing impacts on local wildlife.”

Fitzroy Basing Association, Fitzroy River and Coastal Catchments, Conservation Volunteers Australia, local artists, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Central Queensland University, Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre and the Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee also provided support for the event.

GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes 308 schools and over 126,000 students from Torres Strait to Brisbane taking part in Reef education and environmental activities in their local area.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846