Students clean-up local beach as Guardians of the Reef

Local school students were joined by Gladstone Councillor Desley O’Grady in cleaning-up marine debris off the beach at Curtis Island, as part of their efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

It was just one of a number of activities students from 10 schools across Gladstone took part in during their Future Leaders Eco Challenge run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Marine Park Authority’s Regional Engagement Officer Rhianna Rickard said during the beach clean-up students learned about the Australian Marine Debris Initiative and the app.

“The app allows volunteers to collect data on the rubbish they find during beach clean-ups, which may then help trace the rubbish back to its origin,” Ms Rickard said.

Other activities on Curtis Island included learning about dune revegetation, seagrass communities and the Gladstone Big 6 marine species.

Ms Rickard said the students also enjoyed becoming Reef superheros and pledging actions they can take to love the Reef.

“I was so impressed by how much they already knew about the threats to the Great Barrier Reef and their enthusiasm for sharing actions that will help protect it,” Ms Rickard said.

“Students learnt about sustainable practices, which they can take back to their school to teach other students.

“I can’t wait to hear what new initiatives are started in schools around the region to help love the Reef.”

The 10 schools taking part were: Boyne Island State School, Chanel College, Clinton State School, Gladstone Central State School, Kin Kora State School, Star of the Sea, St Francis Catholic Primary School, St John the Baptist Primary School, Tannum Sands State School and Toolooa State High School.