Cassowary Coast students are reef champions

The Cassowary Coast’s future environmental leaders will participate in a day of educational activities at Wongaling Beach tomorrow to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The activities are part of the annual Future Leaders Eco Challenge, which is run as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) Reef Guardian Schools program.

The theme for this year’s event is community stewardship in action. Students will test water quality, survey wetland health and learning about marine park zoning.

GBRMPA liaison officer Phil Laycock said the event aimed to encourage students to learn about and care for their local environment, in turn contributing to the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Cassowary Coast region has a strong connection to the neighbouring Great Barrier Reef and the local teachers and students have an important role to play in its future,” Mr Laycock said.

“The event aims to empower them, give them a sense of involvement in the bigger environmental picture, and encourage them to make a positive difference.

“Environmental projects in Reef Guardian schools contribute to broader actions that are helping protect the Reef — all actions, big or small, are vital to the Reef.”

Mission Beach State School principal Gordon Robertson said the school was proud to host the challenge and share their learning with other schools.

“We are proud as Reef Guardians to be part of a community partnership that has been working together since 2014 to rehabilitate the Mission Beach wetlands — healthy catchments support a healthy Reef.”

More than 50 students and seven teachers from eight schools will participate in the challenge.

Future Leaders Eco Challenges will take place in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas, Innisfail, the Whitsundays, Burdekin, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Capricorn Coast, Mackay, Ingham and Bowen.

GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes 276 schools, over 120,000 students and 7400 teachers from Brisbane to the Torres Strait.

For more information about the Reef Guardian Schools program visit