Far North Queensland Traditional Owners receive Sea Country grants

Published: 09/07/2012

Great Barrier Reef Traditional Owner groups from Cairns to Cape York will monitor seagrass, receive training in sea country management and become Junior Reef Ambassadors through the Sea Country Partnerships Grants Program.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Indigenous Partnerships Group Director Liz Wren said 11 Traditional Owner groups reef-wide would receive grants of $30,000 to $55,000 to undertake environmental projects in their sea country.

The grants are provided under the Australian Government's Caring for our Country Reef Rescue Land and Sea Country Indigenous Partnerships Program.

Ms Wren said six Traditional Owner groups in the Cairns and Cape York regions had been successful in their grant applications this year.

"Traditional Owners play a vital role as a partner in protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef," she said.

"These grants support direct Traditional Owner involvement in natural and cultural resource management activities.

"This brings environmental, health and social benefits for the broader Indigenous community."

Ms Wren said the successful projects focussed on various aspects of sea country management that would result in better management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

In one project, a team of young people from Weary Bay in Cape York will become Junior Reef Ambassadors – young sea country people with skills in reef science, sea country culture and communications.

Another example in the Mossman area will see the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people investigating the most appropriate sea country management option for their area.

In another project, Traditional Owners around Cooktown will take part in compliance awareness training in order to take on a greater role in sea country management.

Recipients of this year's grants will complete their projects over the next 12 months.

This is the second round of the Sea Country Partnerships Grants Program, following last year's successful program.

The grants are part of a broader Sea Country Partnerships Program run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Detailed information on the projects is available on the GBRMPA website.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846