The Reef Guardian Council program showcases environmentally sustainable practices undertaken by councils in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.
The program recognises the effective management and protection of the Reef requires a coordinated effort from industries, communities and all levels of government.
There are 17 councils between Bundaberg and Cooktown in the Reef Guardian Councils program undertaking a range of projects. This covers a 300,000 square kilometre area and a population of almost 900,000 people.
These councils are working together to protect and conserve the Marine Park through activities that improve the health and resilience of the Reef.
Many local residents assume their councils only deal with rates, roads and rubbish but Reef Guardian Councils are doing much more than this in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Reef Guardian Councils undertake environmental initiatives in the following areas:
- Water management - waterways rehabilitation, water monitoring, urban stormwater treatment, wastewater and trade waste treatment
- Waste management - waste avoidance, waste reuse and recycling
- Land management - vegetation and pest management, resource assessment, erosion control, and land planning and management
- Climate change - planning and policy, energy and resource efficiency, and community education
- Community - education, capacity building and developing partnerships.
Reef Guardian Councils have an important role in planning for sustainable population growth, approving environmentally sound developments, and preparing the community for climate change impacts.
Whether Reef Guardian Councils and their communities are large or small, they are all making continuous improvements to help the Great Barrier Reef.