Science and Technology

Hinchinbrook Reef Guardians gather to brainstorm Reef future

Hinchinbrook students put their heads together to learn how their actions connect to wetland ecosystems and the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

Thirty students from five schools will be taking 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 northern region project officer Bonnie Boyce said the annual eco challenge event was developed to implement activities and projects in local communities that showcased citizen science and stewardship in Reef catchment communities.

Mrs Boyce said students would be challenged to consider their role in mitigating the threats to the Reef, and participate in workshops delivered by experts in various environmental fields.

“Students will learn about restoration actions currently undertaken by Reef management partners, as well as the concept of catchment connectivity – breeding cycles of marine life and the role of birds and insects in a wetland.”

Terrain Natural Resource Management, a long-term Reef Guardian partner, will host the event at TYTO Conference and Events Centre, supported by project partners.

The theme of 2017’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 that they can implement in their own schools. These community stewardship activities contribute to the Reef 2050 Plan – the Australian and Queensland governments’ 35-year plan for protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

Now in its fifteenth year, the Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes more than 300 schools and over 127,000 Queensland students taking part in Reef education and environmental stewardship in their local area.

Source: GBRMPA

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