Beach clean-up in school sight

Townsville’s Heatley Secondary School students will hit local beaches to collect rubbish and stop it entering the Great Barrier Reef.

The school will receive a $500 Ripples of Change funding grant from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) toward their efforts to combat this threat to the marine environment.

Teacher Peter Thompson recognises rubbish is an issue locally.

“Students will learn about the impact of rubbish in the marine environment and develop ways to reduce and manage waste at the school,” he said.

“They will participate in beach clean-up events and we will visit the national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef, Reef HQ Aquarium, for a living classroom experience.”

GBRMPA Reef Guardian Schools Program manager Megan Connell commended the school for their project which addresses one of the significant threats to the Reef.

“The project has practical and realistic goals and collecting rubbish from beaches and waterways is a great way to address marine debris,” she said.

All schools participating in GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools program were encouraged to apply for the funding grants.

Winners were chosen based on their project’s ability to address one of the five key threats to the Reef and for their contribution to the Reef 2050 Plan, the Australian and Queensland governments’ 35 year plan for protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

The grants, aimed at assisting small scale stewardship projects at a school level, encourage Reef stewardship, citizen science projects and promote local partners and stakeholder collaboration.

Now in its fifteenth year, GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools initiative has more than 290 schools, 7400 teachers and 127,000 students involved in building the Reef’s resilience.

Further information about the program and a full list of grant winners is available at