Charters Towers Reef Guardians workshop solutions to Reef threats

Students in Charters Towers will put their heads together tomorrow (Wednesday 26 July) to workshop solutions to the key threats to the Great Barrier Reef.

Twenty-five students from three schools will take part in the annual Future Leaders Eco Challenge as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program.

Reef Guardian Schools program manager Megan Connell said the annual eco challenge event encouraged students to implement projects that showcase citizen science and stewardship in Reef catchment communities.

Ms Connell said students would take part in activities that challenge them to consider their role in mitigating the threats to the Reef, and participate in workshops delivered by environmental experts.

“The eco challenge aims to guide and influence everyday actions and will go a long way toward a resilient Great Barrier Reef for future generations,” she said.

“Even though Charters Towers students think they live a long way from the Reef, they can still learn how their actions affect the Reef via their catchments.

“We will run activities that highlight how run-off occurs, and how it effects the Reef.”

The theme of this year’s eco challenges is to address the five key threats to the Reef – climate change, water quality, coastal development, direct use and marine debris.

Students and teachers will take home activities, skills and project ideas they can implement in their own schools. These community stewardship activities contribute to the Reef 2050 Plan, and the Australian and Queensland governments’ 35-year plan for protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

Now in its 15th year, the Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes more than 300 schools and over 127,000 students from Torres Strait to Brisbane taking part in Reef education and environmental stewardship in their local area.