Douglas students are reef champions

Douglas’ future environmental leaders will participate in a day of educational activities at Wonga 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 be testing water quality, surveying wetlands, learning about zoning and making a plan to reduce litter in their schools.

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 Douglas 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.”

Schools in the Douglas region participating in the challenge include Port Douglas State School, Mossman State School, Daintree State School, Miallo State School and Wonga Beach State School.

Wonga Beach State School teacher Rick Weimer said the school was pleased to host the challenga and share learnings about Wonga Beach wetlands.

“We are proud as Reef Guardians to be part of a community partnership working together to rehabilitate Wonga Beach wetlands — healthy catchments support a healthy Reef.”

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