Townsville region Reef Guardians to workshop Reef issues

Townsville region Reef Guardian high school students are gathering tomorrow (Wednesday 19 July) to workshop solutions to the key threats to the Great Barrier Reef.

High school students from Townsville and Ingham are taking part in the annual Future Leaders Eco Challenge as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program.

This year, the Eco Challenge is being run in collaboration with the Australian Coral Reef Society and James Cook University. The event brings together coral reef scientists and academics with environmental managers, and reef managers of the future.

Marine Park Authority Program Manager Megan Connell said the event had a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, challenging students to brainstorm and workshop issues under the guidance of scientists and managers.

“Working in partnership with the Australian Coral Reef Society means we can link Reef researchers with young passionate Reef Guardians in a mentoring and problem solving day,” Ms Connell said.

“The event aims to guide and influence Reef and environmental thinking and will contribute toward a resilient Great Barrier Reef for future generations.”

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

This contributes to the actions under the Reef 2050 Plan – the Australian and Queensland governments’ 35 year plan for protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

Now in its 15th year, GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools initiative has more than 270 schools, 7400 teachers and 120,000 students involved in building the Reef’s resilience.