Townsville students get involved in local actions to protect the Great Barrier Reef

Published: 27/08/2014

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More than 110 students and teachers from 15 Reef Guardian Schools in Townsville swapped the classroom for the Reef HQ Aquarium and the Museum of Tropical Queensland to learn 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.

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

GBRMPA Acting Reef Guardian School Manager Carolyn Luder said during the day students learnt about heritage values and biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef and visited the Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital.

“Students participated in a Reef Rally at the Museum where they found answers to clues about the Reef and its catchments within the exhibits,” she said.

“Visiting the Turtle Hospital at Reef HQ was a special experience for students with many of them never having been so close to such an amazing creature.”

Students attending from local secondary and primary schools were chosen as to represent their school as Reef Guardian Future Leaders and to take messages they learnt at the Eco Challenge back to share with other students.

Ignatius Park College students were also selected to be Reef Guardian Ambassadors for the day where they mentored other students during activities.

Reef HQ Aquarium Education Manager Julie Spencer said it was great to see students getting involved in environmental activities to learn about the Reef.

"During a turtle workshop and visit to the Turtle Hospital students learnt how to identify the six marine turtles living in Great Barrier Reef waters and also explored actions they can do to help protect marine turtles,” she said.

“It’s great to see we have so many inspiring Future Leader students in Townsville that are passionate about looking after the Reef through positive actions they take at school and at home.”

The event was opened by Bindal Traditional Owners and supported by local partners Museum of Tropical Queensland, Reef HQ Aquarium, Townsville City Council and the Sea Turtle Foundation.

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