The Livingstone Shire Council has given its unwavering support to the Reef Guardian Council program and signed up for the 2020-2024 term.
Livingstone will join other councils in leading the nation in driving local action to support a healthy Great Barrier Reef.
Last week the Council re-committed to the Reef Guardian Council program, a partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Mayor Ireland said that as one of the first councils to participate in the program, which began with trials around 2006, Livingstone Shire Council took its Reef Guardian role very seriously.
“With the beautiful Keppel Islands on our doorstep, our growing tourism industry, fishing spots and long standing Traditional Owner connection to our sea country, our community has a passionate and very strong connection with the Great Barrier Reef,” Mayor Ireland said.
The Council is planning a range of Reef Guardian Council activities over the next four-year term, including partnering with stakeholders of the Local Marine Advisory Committee to undertake stormwater analysis through the '’Drain Buddies’ project.
The Council will also offer support to coastal clean-ups and helping to identify the rubbish getting into the ocean, so the community as a whole can make changes which will eliminate this waste at the source; promote community efforts to protect marine turtles in their nesting season; and undertake strategic planning, such as the Coastal Hazards Adaption Strategy, to protect our built and natural assets.
Council’s appointed Reef Guardian Champion and Councillor, Andrea Friend, said Council was thrilled to reaffirm its commitment to the program.
“This stewardship program provides a collaborative approach between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Council, stakeholders and the community which seeks to deliver on-ground actions to enhance Reef resilience,” Cr Friend said.
“The program empowers people to be part of the solution, foster innovation and change and increase awareness of the Reef’s values, threats and positive actions that can be taken.
“Council is proud to support this fantastic initiative which makes meaningful and positive change towards the long-term sustainability of our local environment and marine life.”
The Authority’s Assistant Director for Reef Guardian Councils, Rebecca Allen, said the Livingstone Shire had an important role to play as a Reef champion and leader of change.
“The Great Barrier Reef is an amazingly diverse and complex system – it’s roughly the size of Italy.
“We recognise that establishing effective and meaningful partnerships is critical to managing the Reef and our Reef Guardian Councils, such as Livingstone Shire, are already undertaking a wide range of actions to help the Reef.
“We are proud to partner with them to support these actions and with the collective power of 18 Reef Guardian Councils, improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
“We hope that the Reef Guardian Council program will help spread the message that taking action now – however small or wherever you are in the world – will help the Reef.”
More information on the Reef Guardian Council program can be found on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.
Image: Livingstone Shire Council reconfirming their commitment with Assistant Director Southern Region Engagement and Reef Guardian Council Rebecca Allen.
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